Train2Game News Former CEO of EA takes over at Unity

unity-logoUnity Technologies announced today that Co-founder David Helgason has stepped back from his role as CEO and welcomed John Riccitiello, former CEO of Electronic Arts, into the position. Helgason will continue at Unity as Executive Vice President in charge of strategy and communications.

John Riccitiello steps into the role of CEO of Unity Technologies having served on the Board of Directors from November 2013. Previous to his work with Unity, Riccitiello served as the CEO of Electronic Arts and co-founded investment firm Elevation Partners. He has also served as advisor to, and invested in, several startups including Oculus VR and Synertainment.

“I’m so proud of everything Unity accomplished in the last decade but now it’s time to look forward to an excellent future. Our mission is an important one, so I’m incredibly happy that John has agreed to lend his formidable experience to the role of CEO at Unity,” said David Helgason. “We’ve had the chance to work together over the last year-and-a-bit and come to recognize how similar our views are on the importance of the democratization of development to a thriving developer ecosystem and healthy games industry. We’re in great hands.”

“Unity has been a hugely positive force in the games industry for years. Now it’s my incredible fortune to have the opportunity to help guide Unity going forward.” said John Riccitiello. “Unity is more than a great engine or packages of services, it’s an amazing and diverse community of developers, many of which are changing the way we think about game design and production. Unity’s mission – to democratize development – is an important one that I’m very happy to help drive forward.”

Train2Game News Halloween Hackathon

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WewanaPlay is going to show you how to make a game quickly by challenging coders to make a game in just 30 hours with their Halloween Hackathon which is supported by big name companies such as Unity.

WewanaPlay, an innovative Birmingham based gaming startup is now turning startup creator. This weekend WewanaPlay is offering a fantastic chance to see how a Hackathon works thanks to their Halloween themed event which will take place in their head office and will also be streamed live on Twitch for everyone to follow along.

The Hackathon will be streamed at http://www.twitch.tv/wewanaplay

The stream will be live between Sat 25th Oct, 9am until Sun 26th , 4pm UK time, supported by the tens of thousands of users of their smartphone application. WewanaPlay was actually started on a weekend hackathon and now they want to give back that experience to new gaming companies.

Talented individuals making up 3 or more teams will be tasked with developing a working Halloween themed game in just 30 hours. The teams are free to use whatever software they wish and develop for whatever chosen platform.

The event is being live streamed on Twitch and is open to anyone who wants to view it. If you are interested in seeing what games can be produced in 30 hours and how it can be done, come watch.  The WewanaPlay team will be there to welcome you!

WewanaPlay hopes this event will show how fun coding can be and hopefully show how within a short time, someone with coding experience can create something which the whole world can enjoy. Well… that’s the aim anyway! Remember Flappy Birds was said to have been made in just 3 hours.

WewanaPlay would love you to follow the event on the live stream and even challenge you to take part from your own homes.  If you think you can produce an awesome game in the same time frame as them, either on your own or as part of a team, then join virtually!

All you have to do is send a tweet to @Wewana_Play along with regular updates and perhaps even your own live stream. It will be interesting to see what games are made and remember there is a year subscription to Unity3D Pro up for grabs for the winner.

The teams will also be wanting feedback from those who just love to play games, so be sure to tune in and play test some awesome new games.

Train2Game News eSports app on Xbox One

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ESL, the world’s largest independent eSports brand, today announced the release of its ESL app on Xbox One, which enables competitive console players – initially from Europe and North America – to connect directly through Xbox Live.

Launching on Oct. 21, the application will allow gamers to compete across an expansive list of game titles in a variety of ESL cups and tournaments. With matchmaking acting as the core feature, the ESL app on Xbox One eliminates the need for extra devices and browser windows, thereby streamlining the gaming experience for users.

“ESL stands for the best eSports experience in the world and our goal is to deliver that experience on all platforms. By launching our own app, we want to bring that unique experience to the Xbox One and its lineup of multiplayer games. The app will allow players of all skill levels to easily participate in our tournaments. This is just the start for us – we are working hard to bring major eSports tournaments to consoles and integrate them flawlessly into our app so everyone can get involved.” said Marcel Menge, Managing Director at Turtle eSports Technology.

“At Xbox, we’re dedicated to providing gamers with the experiences they ask for and we know competitive gaming is a growing category,” said Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson. “With the addition of the ESL app on Xbox One, we can deliver a wide range of tournaments for some of the best games on the platform all with the functionality our community craves.” The main feature of the application is to enable users to find, sign up and submit results for ESL cups and matches on Xbox itself. An extension of this allows the gamer to stay on top of the competition and track his/her progress within both past and present ESL competitions. Additionally, opponents can be found, viewed and challenged (via gamertags) with the latest eSports news available from eslgaming.com.

For more information click here.

Train2Game News GameCity 9

GameCity 9GameCity is throwing a giant housewarming party at its main festival venue in the middle of Nottingham town this coming Saturday 25 October to celebrate moving in and taking it over for the week.

Located at 24-32 Carlton Street, just one minute from the Lace Market tram stop, the GameCity venue covers five floors, has three galleries of brilliant stuff and will be full of like-minded video game fans.

For the whole of the opening weekend, the GameCity venue will be the place to be to make and play games in the Open Arcade, eat cake, make a tribute to your favourite game character to be displayed on the Wall of Game, build a cardboard arcade machine and generally have a brilliant time. Did we mention eating cake?

Most of all, this is an opportunity to put yourself into GameCity. Bring along something to stick on the walls – an old game magazine, manual, or your own artwork – and help us turn it into a colourful world of relentless brilliance.

Be there at 10am on Saturday 25 October and you can literally start a festival. To find out more go to http://gamecity.org/festival/gauntletsignup/

Train2Game News Live Game Board

logo_title_wbAfter months of hard work the Live Game Board has been announced, the first Augmented Reality gaming platform, released to both players and developers.

Live game board comes with 5 games you can enjoy playing in Augmented Reality. All are available for free for Android at http://www.livegameboard.com/apps/.

“Live Game Board is a platform for games and educational applications. That means you can play many games and apps on one single board. Augmented reality way of playing games makes things look much more real and part of your real world. Gaming is also more social, similar to classic table games with Live Game Board you can play the games together with your friends or family.” Stan Kuhn, Founder.

Although it is possible to download Live Game Board for free for self printing, it is recommend to order larger and better quality boards at http://www.livegameboard.com/shop/. Boards are available as hard paper or water resistant plastic banners. There are 3 available sizes to maximize AR experience, remember size of the board dictates the size of the game in real world. Smaller boards are better for table play, larger boards are best to use on a floor in your room.

Together with publishing Live Game Board there is also a developer section with tutorials and SDK for Unity3D to help developers to easily add Augmented Reality play mode into their games. All game developers are welcome to get the SDK for free and publish their games for all Live Game Board players. The developer section is available at http://developer.livegameboard.com/

Enjoy the video of the Live Game Board in action below

Train2Game News Google Play Games adds multiplayer

Google Play GamesGoogle has rolled out an update to its Google Play Games development toolkit that allows for local multiplayer matchmaking. Prior to that, the service supported only online multiplayer.

The toolkit, which offers a raft of services to devs, and to players functions as a game network similar to Xbox Live or Apple’s Game Center, can be implemented in iOS, PC, and Android titles. More info is available at Google’s developer portal, here.

Google Play Games’ Greg Hartrell said earlier this year about the company’s aspirations for the service and tools.

“Our game services are there, and our game network is there, to bring together this concentrated network of people who love playing games — to make it easier for someone who is a game creator to reach that highly valuable audience,”

The Google Play Games service is designed to help developers create mobile games for both Android and iOS devices, as well as browser games.

You can find out more information at Google’s developer page.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 20.10.14

Fifa 15Another two big games released this week and they still can’t take the number one spot from the powerhouse which is Fifa 15. The Evil Within wasn’t enough to scare Fifa away, leaving it at number two and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, has managed to reach number three. Just squeezing into the top ten is F1 2014 which hits number ten.

All formats

Week ending 18 October 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 - FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 1
2 THE EVIL WITHIN BETHESDA SOFTWORKS -
3 BORDERLANDS: THE PRE-SEQUEL! 2K GAMES -
4 MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 3
5 FORZA HORIZON 2 MICROSOFT 4
6 ALIEN: ISOLATION SEGA 2
7 DESTINY ACTIVISION 6
8 DRIVECLUB SONY COMPUTER ENT. 5
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 10
10 F1 2014 CODEMASTERS -
11 SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM SKYLANDERS 7
12 SUPER SMASH BROS. NINTENDO 9
13 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 11
14 NBA 2K15 2K SPORTS 8
15 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 DISNEY INFINITY 12
16 - THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 16
17 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 14
18 SLEEPING DOGS: DEFINITIVE EDITION SQUARE ENIX 13
19 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 18
20 THE SIMS 4 EA GAMES 17
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 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 Play Games to help SpecialEffect

SpecialEffectSpecialEffect are hosting another Gameblast in February of 2015. This is your chance to play games and help people in need!

The gaming marathon weekend will take place from February 20 – 22 and the idea is that you play games for an extended length of time, whether it be 48 hours or 24 hours is entirely up to you, and get your friends, family and whoever else to sponsor you to do so.

This gaming marathon is entirely down to your self to decide what you can do. Do as much or as little as you want to and try and raise as much money as you possibly can to help SpecialEffect to raise money that will go towards supporting disabled gamers back in to the game.

Last February gamers raised an incredible £70,000 in GameBlast14, and every penny and cent went towards levelling the playing field for gamers with disabilities. This time SpecialEffect are aiming for £100,000, so they’re going to need all the help you can give!

If you want to find out some helpful tips and sign up for this event you can go to http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast-about

Train2Game News Avenged Sevenfold game out now

Avenged SevenfoldMulti-platinum hard rock superstars Avenged Sevenfold are pleased to announce their action adventure role-playing game, Hail to the King: Deathbat, is available now on the App Store and Google Play.

“After over 2 years in development, we are proud to present you with Hail to the King: Deathbat,” noted Avenged Sevenfold lead singer M. Shadows, a lifelong gamer who oversaw production and design. “After watching all of the members of this band play mobile games on tour over the years we decided to create one of our own. A game for our fans who love games as well. We decided to create this adventure with a nod to our favorite games growing up. No hand holding here, no fluff, just a hard, bad ass game that lets you discover the story of the Deathbat. How many of you out there can beat this game? Only time will tell. We are excited to share this story with you now.”

As you battle through seven beautiful hellish landscapes inspired by the band’s iconic discography and artwork, you’ll interact with other characters to uncover more of the game’s deep and engaging mythos. Hail to the King: Deathbat features classic Avenged Sevenfold tracks along with a new and original score, composed by the band in the immortal tradition of 8-bit masterpieces like Castlevania.

Hail to the King: Deathbat’s epic story follows the Deathbat, the resurrected King of the Underworld, who must reclaim the lands of Haides from the despotic Dark Andronikos. The game is massive in the totality of its scope, with hours of robust gameplay. But it is not for the faint of heart – players will need to traverse sprawling environments, combat skillful undead, and best unforgiving bosses, combining brutal melee attacks with powerful projectile magic to survive.

Hail to the King: Deathbat is available now for $4.99 on the App Store and Google Play.

Train2Game News Focus on the Positive

Bath Digital FestivalTraditionally, many of those outside the Gaming world see online gaming as an antisocial activity, gamers as ‘loners’ who spend hours in darkness in their basements, playing war games.

The reality is very different. With around 1 in 3 of us playing games on a regular basis, gaming has grown from a niche hobby for a few, to mass entertainment for the many. The largest grossing entertainment release to date is not a Harry Potter nor Star Wars release but a game: Grand Theft Auto 4. The most popular YouTube personality on the planet now is not a singer, reality TV star or an actor but a gamer, PewDiePie with around 30 million subscribers.

So while games have broken out as a form of entertainment, is now the best time to ask if all they can do is fun? Dr Tomas Rawlings of Auroch Digital and Bristol Games Hub says an emphatic, “Yes.”, A gamer and regular commentator on games and gaming who has spoken at Games for Change New York in 2013 and was a keynote speaker in 2014 at Games for Change Paris says; “Gaming is breaking out of its traditional boundaries and audiences. We’re addressing the point that as games are so good at fun – and they are- then they can also be good at education, engagement, therapy and much more. Therefore, rather than talking about Games as being distractions from reality, we should be thinking about what Games can do for good. They are a form of engagement where people can not only have fun, but also give back to society, whether contributing to education, health, culture or science.”

Due to the increase in smart phones and mobile apps, (look around next time you’re on the train at how many people are playing Candy Crush) , games are now a primary medium that people use to understand the world around us. This view is reinforced by a survey in March this year by various US University researchers who found that by far the most part of gamers use these games to play together and enhance their social life, rather than locking themselves away. Another poll by CivicSurvey.org found that 52% of gamers report playing games where they think about moral and ethical issues and 44% report playing games where they learn about a problem in society.

There are an increasing number of children’s teaching apps, which approach learning in a fun way, as well as games that help cancer researchers, even games that confront domestic violence.

So, why not make improvements to society whilst having fun?

Learn more about this fascinating topic during the Bath Digital Festival at Games for Good: The Panel.

Dr Tomas Rawlings will be joined by a panel of experienced industry experts to discuss how Games can do more for society.

http://2014.bathdigitalfestival.com/event/games-for-good-the-panel/