Train2Game News TIGA Games Tax Relief Tour

TIGA logoTIGA, the network for developers and digital publishers in the UK, has announced a new tour to help games studios across the UK understand how they can use Games Tax Relief (GTR) to enhance their creativity, innovation and improve their access to finance.

EU law requires that GTR incorporates a cultural test and studios’ games will have to pass the test in order to benefit from the tax measure. TIGA’s GTR tour will feature top games industry creatives explaining how UK game developers can navigate and satisfy the BFI’s cultural test and maximise their creative freedom.

Leading studio representatives will also discuss how GTR can be used to inspire and support greater innovation and experimentation in UK games businesses, due to the increased margins and financial security GTR offers.

As well as covering how GTR can enhance creativity, innovation and access to finance, the TIGA tour will also explain the nuts and bolts of how to successfully apply and claim GTR as part of the accounting process.

Practical advice provided on this area will include:

  • Which development costs will be eligible for GTR?
  •     What kinds of businesses can claim Games Tax Relief?
  •     How much can games companies claim back, in the event of a profit, or a loss?
  •     How does the cultural test actually work?
  •     Examples of games that would pass the cultural test.
  •     What business models are best suited to GTR?
  •     How GTR will affect smaller games businesses?
  •     What should those developers looking to take advantage of GTR do next?
  •     How will GTR affect existing measures such as R&D tax credits and the patent box?

Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA, comments:
“TIGA is focused on helping game developers and digital publishers succeed. So we are organising the TIGA GTR Tour to help developers understand how tax relief can unleash the creative and financial potential of their studios, and drive innovation & experimentation in their business.
“We want as many game developers and digital publishers as possible to benefit from GTR and so we are bringing together a range of expert speakers at different locations across the UK.”

You can find a full list of locations at http://www.tiga.org/events/tigas-events/games-tax-relief-qa-series

Train2Game News Maya LT 2015 on Steam

Maya LT 2015Maya LT 2015 will be made available through Steam, Autodesk has announced. The feature set will allow Valve’s community of 65m gamers – as well as the developers and artists among them – use the animation and modelling tools to create 3D game assets.

These can then be used to personalise games and import user-created assets into compatible Steam titles, such as the hugely popular Dota 2. Assets created can also be used in any games users are developing.

Purchasing Maya LT through Steam will also give developers and gamers a full commercial Maya LT licence, allowing them to export any assets create with the tool to games for PC, console and mobile.

The licence will available to purchase through Steam on Tuesday, April 22nd.

“The Valve community is unique because it includes a very engaged mix of both gamers and developers working together to mod titles and generate content,” said Autodesk’s director of games solutions Frank Delise.

“We’re engaging with the community on day one by participating in forums, answering questions and offering custom tutorial content for Dota 2 fans. We can’t wait to try new things with the community and see how they push Maya LT to its limit and beyond.”

Train2Game News Student Studios work together

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Two Train2Game student studios have worked together for a mutually beneficial project.

The student studios studying with Train2Game have joined forces to release game Two Souls on free to play 3D gaming website: Gamonaut. A Lite version of the game developed by Derp Studios is exclusively available on Icey Monty’s popular gaming website.

The partnership has come together as both studios won a Swan PR Train2Game competition to gain free PR for a month.

Gamonaut developed by Icey Monty has around 1/2million plays on its site to date and its numbers are rapidly growing. Two Souls is one of Derp Studio’s many popular gaming releases, the full version of the game is now available to buy on Android and Windows 8 mobile, with planned release on iOS in the near future.

Nick Walker, Director, Icey Monty, said: “Two Souls has an original mechanic that makes it challenging and gives players a new experience. It’s perfect for the web and mobile markets. Derp has been brilliant, both in terms of getting the game ready and with the teams enthusiasm for the cooperation. We’re excited about giving Two Souls more outreach, and that ends up being mutually beneficial.”

Christopher Ledger, CEO, Derp Studios: “With John and Nick’s experience with building web games combined with our knowledge of games, I think we can cover a lot of audiences on both PC and mobile.  We’ve made a totally exclusive version of Two Souls for Gamonaut, dedicated to players using the keyboard. The levels are unique, so when players buy the game on mobile they will have fresh new content.”

These two joining forces is an excellent example of Train2Game students supporting one another to further their careers.

Two Souls is now available Available on Android
Pro:  Here
Lite:  Here

Available now on Windows PHONE 8:
Pro:  Here
Lite:  Here

Train2Game News Game Jam 2014 Results!

The Train2Game Game Jam is over for another year and there was some top quality games created at the event this year.

The Judges; Andrew McCartney of Microsoft Ventures, Jon Hare of Sensible Software fame, Ian Johnson Apps world founder, Professor Carsten Maple from the University of Bedfordshire and Clive Robert of DR Studios began judging at 2pm on the Sunday and by 6pm they were ready to announce their decision.

There were three categories the teams could win in; Teamwork, Most innovative and Best Game.

Train2Game Principal Myra Smallman announced they couldn’t choose between two teams regarding the Teamwork category so two teams were victorious: Level X Games and Unity Dreamers.

Next up Andrew McCartney announced the winner of the most innovative game which was Horatio the Hamster by Basement Games. The team consisted of Train2Game Students:

Tabi ‘Fitsy’ Polson – Designer
Simon Corder – Level design and QA
Dan Knight – Developer
Lybert Mancedo – Artist
Ash ‘Little Dave’ Fayers – Developer

Finally Jon Hare was to announce the winner of the Best Game which was 1HP left with their game Nom! This made the day extra special for artist, Neil Gorman as it was also his birthday yesterday! The team consisted of Train2Game Students:

Nigel Clarke – Team Captain/Developer
Sam Hawkins – Game/Level Designer
Amanda Blatch – 3D/2D Artist
Daniele Morisco – Developer
Neil Gorman – 3D Artist/Animator

A massive congratulations to the winners and well done to all the students who took part it was a great weekend and I hope it was a good birthday for Neil Gorman!

You can enjoy the pictures from the final day of the 2014 Train2Game Game Jam in the gallery below:

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Train2Game News Game Jam 2014 Day Two

Day two of the Train2Game 2014 Game Jam is well under way with all the teams working hard on their respective projects.

There are some excellent looking games starting to form through the midst of bleary eyed students who are starting to feel the effects of minor sleep deprivation! Through it all they are remaining determined and motivated ready for the all important judging tomorrow afternoon…

You can enjoy the photos from the second day of the 2014 Game Jam below:

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Train2Game News Day One Game Jam pictures

The 2014 Game Jam is now well under way with all the students working hard on their games with no theme!

Following the dead heat vote on whether to have a theme or not, a draw was held and it was chosen no theme will be used for this game jam. The students are let off their leashes to design whatever they so choose!

There was a couple of presentation talks from Drew Field at TIGA, Dr Mick Donegan from SpecialEffect and Professor Carsten Maple from the University of Bedford.

You can enjoy a small gallery of pictures from the start of what is turning out to be an interesting weekend below:

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Train2Game News Video Game Pioneers Advice

Andrew HewsonAn exclusive talk by UK games industry pioneer Andrew Hewson has been released publically for the first time.

In the three-part video of his seminar, entitled “Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers” (in keeping with his upcoming book of the same name), Andrew describes the fascinating story behind the formation of Hewson Consultants, the production of some of their hit games and his key lessons from the formative decades of videogames.

Part 1: The Birth of Hewson Consultants
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xHP4BqtChw

Part 2: The Games
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZCK0WS39ys

Part 3: Key Lessons
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_y7ziK524o

Andrew Hewson was the founder of Hewson Consultants, 21st Century Entertainment and the founding Chairman of United Kingdom trade body ELSPA (now known as UKIE). His companies were known for producing original smash hits like Paradroid, Uridium, Nebulus, Cybernoid, Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies as well as promoting famous developers like Andrew Braybrook, Raffaele Cecco, Stewart Gilray and the original founders of DICE.

In 2013 Andrew Hewson reformed Hewson Consultants Ltd, the celebrated retro-games outfit he originally founded in 1980, in order to write & publish his new book “Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers” which was successfully funded on Kickstarter in November 2013. The book is scheduled for release later this year.

Train2Game News Derp Studios demo on Android

Two SoulsIntroducing one of the most challenging games to grace the Google Store; Two Souls. In the game you take control of two little androids on their journey through the stars. Although their goal is the same, their paths are very different. Using the analog sticks guide your two little soul mates towards the end zone of each level in the best time you can achieve!

  • 10 levels, each more challenging than the last
  • Challenge mode, a true test of dexterity!
  • Achievements; beat the challenges set by the developers and earn achievements via Swarm.
  • Leader- boards: Attain bragging rights and post high score on; Swarm, Facebook and social media. Show the world you have what it takes to be the best!
  • Beautifully composed soundtrack.

Two Souls is Train2Game student studio; Derp Studio’s, award winning game from the Swan PR competition. Derp Studios would like to thank all those who helped get Two Souls where it is and a very special thanks to Train2game for allowing it to use their iconic robot as the in game character.

Click here to visit Derp Studios. Download the game for free on Android devices here!

Found a bug or want to give your thoughts on the game? Contribute to the game’s development by taking part in QA here.

Train2Game News Develop looking for Indies

DevelopDevelop in Brighton’s annual search for the next big thing in independent games development is underway again as submissions open for its fourth Indie Showcase at www.developconference.com.

The conference’s Indie Showcase celebrates the very best of indie game development with an exhibition featuring the ten best entries as chosen by a panel of experts led by Assyria Games’ Adam Green. One of these 10 games will be judged overall Indie Showcase Winner by the judging panel, one will be selected by journalists in the Editors Choice Award and there will also be the chance for all delegates to vote for their favourite game during the event in the People’s Choice Award.

All 10 finalists receive two free Indie Dev Day conference passes, up to five Expo passes, pre-event publicity and a profile on the event website, plus the opportunity to show off their games to around 1,600 developers and publishers at the event.

Last year, a record number of indie developers submitted their games to the judging panel. Winners included People’s Choice award That Dragon, Cancer, a game created to help developer Ryan’s four year old son in his battle against cancer and financed by OUYA to launch this year; Editors’ Choice award Gunpoint, out on Steam which received an 83 metacritic score on launch and Indie Showcase overall winner Ibb and Obb which launched in Europe and America on the PlayStation Store a month after winning the award.

“It is fantastic that The Indie Showcase is back for a fourth year. Last year produced a record number of submissions and I think it is safe to say we are in a golden age for indie developers. I have high hopes there will be even more amazing games submitted this year and I can’t wait to check them all out,” said Adam Green, managing director Assyria Games.

“The showcase remains an excellent opportunity for indies to put their game in the spotlight at the Develop in Brighton Conference and get in front of publishers, the press and over 1600 delegates.”

Andy Lane, managing director of conference organiser Tandem Events, added: “For the last four years, we’ve been fully committed to giving a platform to the very best indie talent that’s out there. It’s completely free for indies to enter and the top ten games not only get the great opportunity to be showcased to the wider development community who come to be part of Develop in Brighton each year, but the shortlisted Indies will get direct feedback on their games from other developers playing them.”

Entry to the Indie Showcase is open to the following at www.developconference.com:
- Studios with no more than 15 people
- Studios – and games – that are non-publisher funded
- Games which are not published by a third party at the time of submission
- Games that have a development budget of less than £1million
- Games that are created in the “indie spirit”

The deadline to enter is 12 May 2014 and the Indie Showcase, Editors’ Choice and People’s Choice winners will be announced to press and delegates at the Develop in Brighton Conference on Thursday 10 July 2014.

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/