Train2Game News Student creates Online Gaming and Development platform Plasis Games

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Train2Game student creates gaming platform www.plasisgamesportal.com which now hosts 30 free to play games and will distribute larger titles in the future.

Train2Game student Sean Brady, 27, from Dublin, Ireland, enjoyed learning to make games and created a few titles of his own while studying with Train2Game. After searching for Distribution he was unsatisfied with the options available and decided to create his own platform for releasing titles.

He has now created Plasis Games, an independent Game Development / Publishing Studio based in Dublin, Ireland.  Initially the portal was envisioned as the central point for the game development studio and publishing platform of Plasis Games. But it has now expanded into hosting online games and plans to distribute externally created games in the future.

Plasis Games plans to provide games for both the casual and hardcore market which is why it has opened up various channels of games distribution, to bring different types of games to different types of Gamers.

Interview with Sean Brady
“I have been a gamer since I was 6 six years of age and still play games religiously to this day. My regular day job includes a combination of Technical Support and Systems/Network engineering. My main role is that of a NOC (Network Operations Center) Engineer.”

“From the very moment I started playing games like Ghouls and Ghosts and Broken Sword of the age of 6, the games provided with such joy and fun that I seeked to create more of it in the world. From my own perspective, games are the best medium for fun, interest, storytelling and expression. Nothing in my life has encompassed all my concentration to same level. They are pure bliss…”

“My dream is to enter the gaming industry in a full-time capacity and have my own development studio, online arcade and publishing house for games. I also want to integrate digital/physical media publishing for all industries as they all use the same mediums.”

Creating Plasis
“Once I achieved a level of competent Game Development, I looked for an appropriate Distributor for my games. Each publisher has its own guidelines that must be adhered too and imposed restrictions. After extensive research and by utilising my skillset in the networking domain, I knew I could create a better platform with better guidelines/features for myself and others in a similar situation.”

“The team is just myself at present. Another developer would just taint my vision. I have made the sacrifices to learn all disciplines involved to action such an endeavour. I will initiate it, implement it and finalise then there will be room for expansion with myself at the helm.”

The Platform
“I have been working on this portal, developing contacts, sourcing games and developing games internally for the studio of Plasis Games since May 2014. I have developed a number of small games internally and college projects outside the time of Plasis Games. For Plasis Games, I am still developing one 2D point and click horror adventure game and one survival horror game. The site has 30 from free flash game providers (with another 2500+ to process – not monetised) 30 from a HTML5 game development company – PlayCityInc (with 30 to process and more to source when needed – all monetised)”

“The publishing platform/online arcade has been implemented to a small degree with a collection of 60+ games added. 2500+ flash games have been collected for processing and addition; time is limited due to life circumstances. Also 30 of the games on the site at present have been provided by another partnering company called PlayCityInc or PlaytoMax. I have another 30 to upload then I can request more when necessary.”

“The website has been designed, uploaded, tested and verified. It is functionality but the user interface and graphical transitions between all pages will be revised and improved over time with significantly better art and sound. No development studio portions have been added but prototype of game levels and functionality have been created internally.”

Train2Game
“I enjoyed the course in Train2Game a lot as it provided all the fundamentals for developers to establish a base skill level before progressing. I had done art, design and programming before and the course from Train2Game was a course provided to me through an educational initiative. The quality of the content and guidance provided surprised in actuality. If you need to get started in game development, Train2Game is the first resource I would direct people too…”

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com

Train2Game News Develop 2015

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Today, Tandem Events, organisers of Develop:Brighton, announced Neil Young, industry veteran and CEO of N3TWORK will deliver the Evolve:Brighton track keynote on the opening morning of the conference.

In his session entitled, ‘Peak Mobile, Are We There Yet?,  Neil –former General Manager at EA and founder of ngmoco- will discuss the potential for mobile games, exploring what native mobile quality means and how it’s important to building the games that truly leverage the power of the platform. He will delve into why the industry hasn’t seen the peak of mobile games market yet and will also share his approach to the role of talent in building the next great games company.

Evolve:Brighton takes place on Tuesday 14 July and is the start of the content packed three day Develop:Brighton conference. Evolve:Brighton, a one day track, focuses on all that is cutting-edge and innovative in game development – new platforms, new technologies, new business models and new markets.

To celebrate the tenth year of the conference, big hitting companies such as Nickelodeon, Amazon and Google will be joined by exciting and up and coming first time speakers, offering the insight of the next generation in video games development.

Following on from the Evolve:Brighton opening keynote there will be 13 sessions from some of the most forward thinking companies in the industry including:

1.      ‘We’re not playing very hard!’ Using Children to Design Games – Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE
2.      Advertising and Games Two World Class UK Industries and How VR will connect with them – Seamus Masterson, Maverick; Ian Chambers, Freelance; Katie Grayson, Inition
3.      Big $ In Japan – Harry Holmwood, Marvelous Europe
4.      Everything is and Will be a Game – Javier Marti, JavierMarti.co.uk
5.      How SMITE Became a Top Global eSport Using Community, Crowdsourcing and Stupid Videos – Todd Harris, Hi-Rez
6.      Studios Kids, Consoles, Content, Coolness – Alison York, Nickelodeon UK
7.      The Develop Panel: What Next Big Thing is Around the Corner? – Chair: James Batchelor, Develop Magazine
8.      The World As Your Game Map: Blending Virtual Experiences with Real World Activity and Exploration – John Hanke, Niantic Labs (a division of Google)
9.      User Generated Content – The Next Generation – Lee Bamber, The Game Creators

“Evolve:Brighton is all about being at the cutting edge of games development,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events. “With a fantastic mix of brand new speakers and big name companies there is great potential for some exciting new ideas to emerge. Added to that it gives me great pleasure to welcome Neil Young as our opening keynote focusing on the ever changing mobile space. It is a cracking line up for the first day of our tenth Develop:Brighton conference.”

Registration is open now at  www.developconference.com  and Early Bird rates are available until midnight on Wednesday 3 June, saving up to £160 off a three day pass.

Train2Game News GAME at EGX 2015

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GAME, the UK’s leading video games retailer has been announced as this year’s retail partner for EGX 2015, cementing the brand’s ongoing relationship with the biggest video games event in UK history.

EGX 2015, hosted at the NEC in Birmingham from the 24th to 27th September, will give over 80,000 gamers the chance to play over 100 of the most anticipated console and PC games months before their release, as well as the opportunity to hear from well-known game designers. GAME’s sponsorship will give all those in attendance the opportunity to play, pre-order and buy the latest games directly from the event itself.

Fred Prego, Marketing & Insight Director at GAME, says, “We’ve been working closely with EGX for years, so we’re really excited to be an official sponsor again in 2015 and having a retail presence at this huge event will make gaming even more accessible to attendees. We can’t wait to be part of it and to see all the exciting new additions this year”.

David Lilley, Managing Director of Gamer Events, says, “We’re delighted to welcome GAME as the retail channel sponsor for another year. It’s brilliant that attendees can play games coming for Christmas and then pre-order on the spot.

“EGX promises to be even better with the broadest range of content including e-Sports, Cosplay, fighting tournaments and board games, not forgetting the parties every night too.”

To find about more about EGX and how to purchase tickets visit: https://www.egx.net/egx

Train2Game News Women in Games aiming to double females in industry

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The women in games organisation, Women in Games WIGJ, announced today that its core objective is to double the number of women in games working in the UK and European Games Industry by 2025.

The organisation recently reviewed its strategy with a group of interested parties including representatives from several publishers and developers and has identified a layer of initiatives that will be revealed in the coming weeks and months to accelerate the movement towards this goal. WIGJ is already in discussion with a number of industry groups including Ukie and STEMNET and hopes to collaborate with as many other interested parties as possible to make this dream a reality.

The Women in Games WIGJ network is open to both women and men. WIGJ believes firmly that encouraging more talented girls and young women to consider a career in the games industry will not be at the expense of others. The games industry needs to hire the most talented, creative people to compete with other industries in tech and the media. The games industry in the UK and throughout Europe is generating many new jobs though tax breaks and the continued growth of new formats. The growth of the games sector will create additional opportunities for all.

Recently appointed CEO, Jenny Richards-Stewart commented, “More girls and women playing games mean more women are interested in working in the games industry but we should not assume that this will solve the current gender imbalance without the industry doing more to welcome a more diverse workforce. Intel working with the IGDA demonstrated in January a significant commitment to bring more women and other diverse talent to the tech and games industries.  We want more companies to step forward on issues of diversity and inspire the next generation of talent .The games industry in the UK and Europe is keen to do more and we are here to help. We want the games industry to get behind this goal. ”

Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said “Women represent 52% of regular players in the UK, but they only make up a small proportion of the games industry workforce, far behind other creative sectors. We have a shared responsibility as an industry to take action to ensure a diversity of people are inspired into a career in our sector from a young age, and stay in the sector. We are doing that via our Digital Schoolhouse programme as well as through the Video Game Ambassador scheme, and we actively encourage a diverse range of people to put themselves up for Ukie Board election and to speak at events.”

To find out more visit http://www.womeningamesjobs.com/

Train2Game News Cooking up a career in Games Development

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After a change in his family’s circumstances, professional chef Ben Randall quit working in a Michelin Star kitchen to study Games Development with Train2Game and to have more time with his family

When life changed for Train2Game student Ben Randall, 27, from Peterborough, he left his job in the kitchen to spend more time with his family and study Games Development. He now balances his time studying QA, working with student studio Devils Inc. and looking after his children and temporarily disabled wife.
 
Getting into studying Games

“I took to work as a chef straight out of school and worked my way up on the kitchen ladder to being sous chef in a number of restaurants with high standards (even a Michelin star).”

“I then started a family and the working hours got longer and it was hard to be with my family. Then unfortunately my wife fell ill and is now temporarily disabled. My wife and kids need my care at home so I had to leave work, but I’m not the type to sit around doing nothing.”

“That’s when a friend of mine said he was on a fantastic art and animation course for video game development and I jumped on that bandwagon faster than Mario on Koopa’s, but my six year old daughter has better art work than I do, so I spoke to the Train2Game rep that came out and he recommended QA.”
 
Studying with Train2Game

“I have been studying with Train2Game for around eight-nine months now. It’s been great so far. The course has a good learning curve to it so I find that it’s getting harder but you have already learnt all you need to cope with that change.”
 
“I am pleased with the course, mainly that for a QA tester to train at college they would need to study IT and software based courses and then move over to the gaming industry, whereas T2G specialize the course to the right area.”

“The positives of the Train2Game courses are they are specialized and that you can do them in your own speed, but at the same time you are not alone. I would recommend the course to others. I feel that T2G push students towards making a strong portfolio of work to present to employers later down the line.”

Working with Train2Game student studio Devils Inc.

“I have seen first-hand just how important teamwork is in the development of games and adding more work to a portfolio is great, but a QA tester is nowhere without something to test so I am happy to branch out and work with anyone at any level of their course experience.”

“It’s great working with Devils Inc. Casual, but great. Because of the nature of each member of the team working from home and using Skype to keep in touch the team trusts that each member is hard at work at their own pace.”
 
“I’m proud to say I am Head of QA in Devils Inc…. ok, Lead tester…… Ok, I’m all of QA (only one) for now as the project is in pre alpha stages at the moment. I have put a test plan in place and set a host server for a bug database and test anything the programmer throws my way. At the Beta stages if the testing process seems too large for one I will recruit testers to follow the test plan and delegate testing to them.”
 
“It’s a great opportunity to see exactly how each role in the team comes together in a project. I don’t think any amount of text book reading can demonstrate this better than real world experience in a development team.”
 
What’s next?

“We are now working on a new take on classic arcade game style space shooter in 2D.

The game will feature waves of enemies in a space setting that the player has to defeat with a small team of 3 AI planes to help. The game will switch when a boss is encountered to a 3D FPS fight (Lylat wars style) The game will then work on multiplayer features so that 4 players join forces or fight each other because.. who doesn’t love Co-op play?”
 
“In the long term future my dream is to work up within QA of a development studio (big or small) and be part of making triple A games you would be proud of.”

Train2Game News FunPlus Group PublishingPlus

PublishingPlusThe FunPlus Group, a worldwide mobile social gaming company, today announced the creation of PublishingPlus, a revolutionary new mobile game publishing program that will provide game developers with a simple, transparent alternative to “traditional” publishing. PublishingPlus is now open for all free-to-play developers to apply, regardless of team size or location.

Before joining FunPlus as Head of Business Development, Greg Essig managed the games section of the App Store at Apple, where he liaised with numerous game publishers and developers. Prior to Apple, Essig helped create the gaming division for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) where he led numerous development and publishing arrangements. These roles helped shape his understanding of the mobile games marketplace and how PublishingPlus can make it better for developers.

Drawing from FunPlus’ expertise as a global leader in the free-to-play mobile industry, and strong local presence in major marketplaces worldwide, PublishingPlus will provide independent development partners with a wide range of financial and operational support in addition to expert guidance throughout all stages of their games’ lifecycles. Through a structured tier-based system, the program will give developers clearly defined, pre-negotiated milestones and deliverables to ensure concrete expectations for both parties with significantly mitigated risk.

The PublishingPlus program is based on four differentiating tenets:

100% upfront financial support from concept to launch
A 50/50 net revenue split between FunPlus and developers
Global marketing and operations support on iOS and Android
Developers’ continued ownership of their IP

“PublishingPlus is a major step into the future of mobile game publishing,” said FunPlus Co-founder and CEO Andy Zhong. “The current market has let too many great games fall by the wayside due to uncertainty. By eliminating that confusion and offering FunPlus’ wealth of experience and resources, we hope to change this trend so that talented developers have a chance to shine.”

The PublishingPlus website is live and officially accepting applications as of today, May 11. In its transparency, FunPlus includes an easily accessible term sheet for interested developers.

“PublishingPus is a mobile publishing design for the modern mobile market,” said Essig, “With our structured program, developers can focus on making great games, without the headaches that come with negotiating for the resources needed to get there.”

FunPlus gives developers unparalleled support in the mobile free-to-play games space. This includes project financing, art guidance, engineering and tech assistance, design, analytics, localization, monetization, marketing and live operations services.

“As a developer, choosing a publisher is critical to the success of our project, and of our company, and it can be downright scary,” said Octact Co-founder and COO Paul Chieffo. “FunPlus made it easy. Their team has given us the resources to succeed and stands behind us every step of the way. PublishingPlus will make the marketplace more approachable for indie developers everywhere.”

Game developers interested in applying are free to submit their ideas for consideration at any stage of development. PublishingPlus will consider applications as early as paper documents or as far along as geo-beta. Financing begins immediately and support continues for each successful tier and milestone met.

For more information about PublishingPlus, please visit: http://publishingplus.funplus.com

Train2Game News Student developing game to aid Alzhemiers

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The emotional impact of Alzheimer’s disease has been explored by a student computer game project, which will be revealed to the public at the Abertay Digital Graduate Show this Friday (8 May).

Alexander Tarvet developed the idea during his Game Design & Production Management degree, looking at how a game can give a unique first-person experience of a debilitating and distressing medical condition.

He was keen to raise awareness both of the impact memory loss has for the individual patient as familiar objects and people become distant, but also for the immediate family.

There will be 850,000 people living with some form of dementia in the UK by the end of 2015 according to the Alzheimer’s Society, showing how widespread this condition has become.

Alexander said: “Computer games are one of the greatest ways to let people safely explore a situation they’ve never experienced, as you’re creating a whole new world to explore. Many games deal with fantasy and fiction, but I wanted to look at something much more serious.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition for everyone affected and their loved ones, and through playing Forget-Me-Knot the player gets an immediate sense of the confusion the character feels.

“They’re in their living room, which should be a safe and comforting space, but it has become hostile and unsettling as they’ve lost memories of the personal objects all around the room.

“The player is in exactly the same position as the person with Alzheimer’s – both have to explore the room and try and piece together an understanding of photos and letters through clues left on shelves and in drawers.

“I hope the project will help anyone who plays the game to understand more about Alzheimer’s disease. Putting yourself into the shoes of the person with the disease gives a very immediate, visceral sense of how disorientating and terrifying it must be to live with long-term memory loss.”

Alexander is one of 170 students showing their final year projects in Abertay University’s main Kydd Building and the Hannah Maclure Centre art gallery, on the top floor of the Student Centre.

Train2Game News Site to bring indies together

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Los Angeles based Pie Powered Productions launched their new website today, IndieDeveloper.com.

The website is aimed at the Independent Game Development community, and caters to all skill levels, from student to hobbyist to professional.

IndieDeveloper.com is primarily a social oriented community, providing tools and resources to developers to find, share, communicate, and collaborate with each other.

One of the more compelling features of the site, is a matchmaking search engine that allows Members to find other developers based on what their proficiencies and disciplines are, and what they are looking for from a collaborator.

The site features activity feeds, media sharing, public and private groups, forums and a blog, amongst other things.  Future features include exclusive deals with middleware and tools providers, game jam and creator competitions and much more.

Train2Game News Students smash Kickstarter target

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Ten days into Kickstarter campaign Train2Game Students successfully clear target with over £5,000 of additional investment

Ben Cooper and Rich Clark have smashed their target for card game Beardy Vikings on crowd funding platform Kickstarter. The pair operating under the name Rounded Squarish have so far raised £7,855 of their original £2,000 target and are only ten days into their month long campaign.

Ruddy Vikings is a simple, fun, 2-4 player strategic card game in which players try and destroy each other’s hands using cunning strategies and epic Vikings. It usually takes between 5-30 minutes to play, depending on the number of players.

Ben Cooper, Rounded Squarish: “I came up with the idea of Ruddy Vikings, developing the core aspects and theme of the game in a hotel room in Milton Keynes! The game was then developed further by myself and Rich Clark. The artwork has been created by both myself and Rich Clark.”

“There were several games that inspired Ruddy Vikings. Although mechanically very different, games like Zombie dice shone out and appealed to the simplistic fun that we are so keen to promote. ”

“We felt that Vikings were an incredibly fun and varied race in which people could relate to. We also felt that our art style would fit Vikings perfectly. We love beards and this only helped make the choice of Vikings even easier. You can’t not have bearded Vikings!”

“Rounded Squarish was founded by myself and Rich Clark in 2011 whilst training with Train2Game. Our aim was to create small games that were incredibly fun and to try and infuse our humour into each title.”

“Studying with T2G gave me a core knowledge of how to go about creating great artwork for games. It also gave me the opportunity to work with other passionate, like minded individuals and enabled me to grow as an artist and designer.”

“I feel that other students would love this game and that supporting this combination of industries may unleash ideas from others. This community, from our experience, lives on the support of other creative minds. That is how we all progress and discover new opportunities.”

“The public, like others in the games industry, are becoming more and more aware of games and not just mobile, video games. Supporting this game and others like it allows for new games and more fun to be developed!”

“The long term plan for the card game is to enter the retail market. We plan to stock the game in shops around the country and, with luck, the world. We also plan to continue to expand the game further with different races. Rounded Squarish are continuing work on our first mobile game Print Jam, which should be out in a couple of months!”

“It is incredibly rewarding to see people getting behind the project and letting us know what they love and don’t love. That is how Ruddy Vikings is growing and I only hope that that never stops! The most amazing thing is knowing that people want this game to be created and we couldn’t be prouder.”

For more information on Ruddy Vikings and to support the game’s development, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roundedsquarish/ruddy-vikings-the-beardiest-card-game-ever

Train2Game bringing City & Guilds qualifications to the games industry

Train2Game News Train2Game students in the running for CG Student Awards

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The FIRST two Train2game students going for the awards and we expect more to follow

Ian Green and Tomasz Figas have entered their work into the CG Student Awards. We wish them all the luck in the world and hope the student community will join us in voting for them to win.

We featured the CG Student awards on the Train2Game blog recently, in an interview with one of the creators of the awards, Alwyn Hunt. The organisation specifically requested Train2Game students join in the competition, and we hope that more of the community will be entering their work to be judged by the wider industry.

The CG Student Awards are an annual independent event created by Games Developers, which showcase and reward excellence in computer graphics from students and recent graduates.

The Awards strive to create a platform for all aspiring digital artists to launch their careers, network with professionals, and connect with other passionate digital artists from around the world. The Awards are a chance to reward those studying Art while putting them in the spotlight of employers. 

This year there are over £240,000 in prizes available and twenty five paid internships, at companies including: Weta Digital, Epic Games, Moving Picture Company, and Double Negative. All entries to the competition receive an incredible software package worth £65. Entries also receive an industry approved rank for their submission and feedback from judges on their entry.

Best of luck everyone, please let us know if you are entering and we will highlight your work to the Train2Game community.

View and vote for the Train2Game students at the links below

http://www.cgstudentawards.com/student-of-the-year-games/ian-green

http://www.cgstudentawards.com/game-of-the-year/tomasz-figas