Train2Game News IndieDevKit launched

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IndieDevKit, an online destination offering expert guidance to self-publishing video game developers, launches today.

Founded by Leonie Manshanden, owner of SouthPaw Strategy, former VP of Irrational Games and Tim Ponting, owner of agency Renegade PR, the website provides downloadable guides on a variety of marketing and operations subjects, priced between $5.00 and $15.00. Additional tools include interactive wizards with a ‘pay-what-you-want’ donation model, plus resource listings to help developers save time hunting down the same information. For teams that require hands-on support, the site offers a variety of highly competitive and transparently costed services, but for studios on a tight budget, IndieDevKit is designed expressly to help developers to help themselves.

“My co-founder Tim and I have been manning the frontline for well over 200 game launches,” explains Leonie Manshanden, CEO. “We created IndieDevKit because we passionately believe no one should have to rely on anecdotal information to make critical decisions for their studio or game launch. After watching people make the same mistakes over and over again because they could not afford help, we wanted to make our experience accessible to all studios, even those who are bootstrapping.”

Topics covered by the site range from operational guides on Legal Basics to specific marketing and communication documents such as Anatomy of a Modern Press Release. Alongside this are a set of interactive tools, for example a Budget Wizard designed to help studios get started, as well as resources such as a vendor directory for commonly needed support services. More material and iterations on the existing offerings will be added over time. All IndieDevKit’s materials have been carefully crafted by the founders and vetted by other experts, developers and official data sources.

Train2Game News Get your game at Develop

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

The conference’s free-to-enter 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, chaired by Assyria Games’ Adam Green.

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 1,800 developers and publishers at the event.

Over the past four years, more than 250 indie developers have submitted their games to the judging panel. Alumni winners include critically acclaimed 2013 Editor’s Choice winner, Gunpoint, 2014 Editor’s Choice winner Darklings which has made it into the top-100 grossing games chart on iOS and 2013 People’s Choice winner, That Dragon Cancer.

“The quality of the games submitted to the Develop Indie Showcase last year was nothing short of astounding, and it’s great to see so many previous winners going onto both commercial and critical success,” said Andy Lane, managing director of conference organisers Tandem Events.

“The showcase is now in its fifth year and continues to be a fantastic opportunity for indie developers to get their games in front of publishers, the gaming press and their fellow peers,” added Adam Green, managing director of Assyria Games and chair of the judging panel.

“Last year had a record number of games submitted to the competition and what really stood out were the diversity of the entries; everything from highly polished commercial titles, to deeply artistic emotive personal projects and everything in-between. I can’t wait to see what this year’s selection has to offer!”

Constantin Graf, developer of iOS title SwapQuest and 2014 Indie Showcase winner commented “The first thing I would say is do it! It doesn’t really matter if you’re on a very tight budget, just take your chances, somehow you’ll be able to make it in the end. The other thing I’d say is you shouldn’t just do it for the chance of winning, but for the experience of meeting up with like-minded people that can give you some real insight.”

Submissions for the Develop Indie Showcase are now open and it’s completely free to apply. Applicants wishing to enter must comply with the following rule:

– 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”
– More information and application forms can be found on the website www.developconference.com

The deadline to enter is 11 May and the overall Indie Showcase and People’s Choice winners will be announced to press and delegates at the Develop:Brighton Conference on Thursday 16 July 2015.

Train2Game News CG Student Awards

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With less than a month to go before the CG Student Awards launches Autodesk wanted to let Train2Game students know about this year Awards and the fantastic opportunities open to them.

This year they have managed to negotiate with some of the world’s most respected VFX, Animation, and Gaming studios to offer up an insane amount of internships as prizes ($350k) for the 2015 CG Student Awards. Autodesk are proud to announce a total of 25 career launching internships available to win at locations all across the globe. Nowhere else you can win this type of experience, in any industry for that matter, and with the same calibre of studios.

A spokesman from Autodesk said “We are pumped, and honoured to know we will help 25 talented digital artists get to work alongside the best teams in the world, and on some of the biggest projects currently in production.”

The categories for 2015 are:
– Student of the Year (VFX/ANIM)
– Student of the Year (GAMES)
– Film of the Year
– Game of the Year
– People’s Choice
– Bootcamp Internship
– School of the Year.

Who is eligible to enter into the Awards:
Current and past students are eligible to enter into the Awards. Past students are only eligible if they have worked professionally. It’s more for the ones that have recently graduated and are looking to break into the industry.

Ambassador program:
Autodesk are also going to be running an Ambassador program for students to help spread the word about the Awards and get their friends involved, there are a whole bunch of prizes to give away to the winners. More information will be available on the website about the program and what they can do to earn those prizes.

The event runs from 4rd March 2015 until 19th June 2015 with entries closed 13th May 2015. The finalists willl bd announced 27th May 2015 and the winners announced 17th June 2015.

The site is currently unavailable but you can enter your email address to be notified  when the site goes live. You will then be able to apply and find out more.

Train2Game News 3000AD anniversary

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3000AD, Inc, one of the industry’s oldest independent game developers of several industry recognized brands such as Battlecruiser 3000AD, Universal Combat, Galactic Command, the All Aspects and Line Of Defense series of games, today announces the release of a free game marking 25 years since the first Battlecruiser 3000AD title was conceived.

Twenty-Five years ago, Derek Smart, a then unknown aspiring indie developer, conceived the world, characters and mythos that were to shape the first game in the Battlecruiser series which was released seven years later in 1996.

Since that original concept, several games and IP have been spawned, resulting in over seventeen games, all based on that world, characters and mythos.

To this day, Derek Smart remains one of the most recognized quintessential indie game developers.

To commemorate this occasion, the last game in the Battlecruiser series released in 2009 as a collection, has been specially re-mastered and will be released exclusively on Steam today for free.

            “Like them or hate them, my games have come a long way. In an industry where most of the guys and games have come and gone, making it this far is testament to my vision of catering to and being focused on an exclusive and dedicated audience of like-minded gamers. I never set out to win them all; just the select few who liked these sort of high-end complex games. By releasing this compendium for free, now that space combat games are apparently making a comeback, my goal is to introduce a new generation to these highly advanced capital ship combat games which still have no equal. My games did it first; and they’re still doing it” – Derek Smart, Supreme Commander, Galactic Command

Train2Game News GameLoading Rise of the Indies

GameLoadingGameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a feature documentary exploring the world of indie game developers – their craft, their games, their dreams, and how they have forever changed the landscape of games culture. The project is currently crowdfunding through Kickstarter to help complete post-production.

Filmmakers Lester Francois and Anna Brady have clocked over 100 hours of interviews with both high-profile and up-and-coming indie developers and industry figures from all over the world. The stories that feature in the documentary are only the tip of the iceberg, with the team currently offering an additional 23 videos on youtube, with more scheduled to be released regularly over the next few months. Popular videos include BitSummit in Kyoto, Dutch Game Garden and Mike Bithell – ‘Story and Gameplay’

The exclusive Member’s Section on their website features longer more in-depth interviews available to Backers. The member’s section is a great resource for indie devs and fans. Those wanting to be a member can do so by backing the kickstarter The Final Push.

GameLoading’s Kickstarter, which launched last week is on track to raise the $50,000 needed to fund post production. Featured on the kickstarter page is the new GameLoading trailer, which has been touching the hearts of audiences across the community. It offers a heartwarming and positive message about developer culture, despite the recent negativity in the industry.

GameLoading features interviews with Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), John Romero (Doom), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer), Alexander Bruce (Antichamber), Lucas Pope (Papers, Please), Richard Hofmeier (Cart Life), Phil Tibitoski (Octodad), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home), Christine Love (Analogue), Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone) and dozens more.

The film will demystify what goes into making a game, examine the processes of different studios and individuals, capture the excitement of industry events like PAX and GDC, ponder why we play and what success means, and explore where this art form has come from and where it may be going.

Train2Game News Steam Game Discoverability

Valve logoValve has made some major changes to the way users discover games on its digital distribution platform Steam.

The new Discovery Update revamps the store’s home page and presents recommendations based on past purchases, recent gameplay and friend recommendations.

Also new is the curators list. Users can create their own list of games, based on a sci-fi theme for example, and recommend games based on their tastes for other players to see and subscribe to.

Steam will still retain some of its more traditional elements however, such as displaying popular new releases, recently updated games and top sellers. Users though will now be able to customise their homepage to display which of these categories they want to see.

Game searching has also been updated, and now allows users to discover titles by entering a tag or a basic description of a game they would be interested in playing.

Through a new traffic data analytics system, developers will be able to see where their game is appearing on the store, how many times it has been shown, and if those impressions have resulted in game page views.

The revamp is Valve’s response to the growing number of games being released on Steam. Since January, 1,300 new titles have been added to the marketplace, a significant increase on previous years and more than a third of the store’s total lifetime releases.. In total there are now more than 3,700 games on Steam.

Source: Develop

Train2Game News Radius announce playable games

RadiusThe organisers of the Radius Festival have today announced the list of games to be showcased at the inaugural Radius Exhibition next week, 19 – 21st of June.

After a great start to the Radius video games Festival with Loading Bar’s E3 media briefing party, attended by over 200 people, the exhibition moves to White Space Venue, near Leicester Square.

The exhibition will host around 20 different playable titles each day, from developers all over the world,  including Tango Fiesta, 0rbitalis, Tap Happy Sabbotage, Timmy Bibble’s Friendship Club, Beyond Gravity, Mighty Tactical Shooter, In Space We Brawl, A Light in Chorus, Fossil Echo, The Kraken Sleepeth, The Marvellous Miss Take, Volume, and many others.

For the full list check out www.radiusfestival.com

“The creative variety and diversity of the games is amazing”, says co-founder and organiser Georg Backer, “and highlights that Radius is for everyone, from the one person developer to the established studio and to gamers and general public who are curious about games.”

“Radius is a celebration of game design and of the vibrancy of this wonderful industry,” adds co-organiser Keith Stuart. “We set it up in the wake of the major event E3 video games exhibition in Los Angeles, to give gamers a chance to experience and celebrate games amid a period of excitement and hype for the games business.”

The exhibition is free for everyone to attend and runs from June 19th to June 21st. There is £15 Supporter Ticket which includes a free drink and download tokens for two PC indie games: 0rbitalis and Richard & Alice.

During the evenings, there’ll also be the “Radius Show”, a live-streamed Internet show presented by games industry veterans and broadcast on Twitch, featuring developer interviews, guest stars and many surprises. Tickets for the evening show cost £25 and include a free drink plus free digital editions of 0rbitalis, Richard & Alice and Tango Fiesta. The show will be live streamed via www.twitch.tv/radiusfestival

Tickets for both the Exhibition and the Evening live show are now available at www.radiusfestival.eventbrite.co.uk

Train2Game News: Virgin Media Game Space

Virgin Media Game SpaceI got the pleasure of attending the launch for the Virgin Media Gaming Space last night at Blackall studios in London.

The Virgin Media Gaming Space is a new venture to promote indie gaming in the lead up to Eurogamer, where Virgin are one of the key sponsors.

The space itself is filled with many of the new indie games to try, including Spelunky and Super Hexagon. Downstairs is an area for indie developers to drop in and work together to create games with the hardware available.

There is also going to be a number of events across the time that the space is there including Game Jams and several talks with industry professionals including Mike Bithell, the developer of Thomas Was Alone.

One of the biggest attractions that is at the Virgin Media Gaming Space is the chance to try out an Oculus Rift. I jumped at the opportunity to see what it was like myself and personally was a bit disappointed but I can certainly see the potential in it.

The game that was being used to display the Oculus Rift was Strike Force Zero. A space shooter where you are a pilot destroying all things in view.

My main problem with the Oculus Rift was with me wearing glasses the headset pressed them in to the bridge of my nose causing discomfort. I did however like the way the UI would slide in to view when you looked to the left.

Regardless of my opinions on the Oculus Rift I wouldn’t have had the chance to try it out if it wasn’t for the Virgin Media Gaming Space. I urge all who can make it to visit as it is an excellent place to meet like minded individuals and play some of the latest greatest indie games.

You can read more about the space and find out about the events taking place at http://www.vmgs.com/

You can view a gallery of my time at the event below:

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Train2Game News: Microsoft allowing self publishing on Xbox One

Xbox OneMicrosoft have announced they will allow self publishing for indie titles on the Xbox One. This is excellent news for Train2Game students.

Microsoft have also announced that each console can be used as a development kit, much like the way that Apple devices can be used as such.

Here’s the official statement from Xbox corporate VP, Marc Whitten:

“Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.”

Whitten also told Kotaku that dev kit functionality will not be available at launch, but will be added ‘at a later date’.

This dispells all concerns of the accessibility and exposure of indie game on Xbox One, Whitten promises they will live on the Xbox Live Marketplace with the major titles.

Whitten explains “Of course there will be different pivots inside of that. There will be everything from what are we curating, kind of like spotlight content, to the normal discoverability stuff like recommendations, what’s trending, what’s got a lot of engagement on the platform. But you shouldn’t think of it as there’s an indie area and a non-indie area.”

With this announcement it opens up an entirely new indie market for Train2Game students and Student Studios with all the features of the Xbox One, allowing you to get creative with features such as Kinect and the Cloud.

Train2Game News: Over 1,600 developers attending Develop Conference

DevelopOn Tuesday 9 July, any Train2Game students lucky enough to attend the eight annual Develop Conference in Brighton will have the chance to interact with over 1,600 developers.

The three day conference will host over 90 sessions covering the whole spectrum of games development. 120 speakers will debate the biggest issues and trends in the industry, from Neil Brown’s session on PlayStation 4, to developments in touch-screen technology, discussions about Kickstarter and funding, global markets and even a session on cyber-psychology.

Lee Schuneman, studio head at Microsoft Lift London, will open the Evolve Conference on Tuesday before Mark Cerny, president of Cerny Games, will give the Develop Conference opening keynote entitled Changing the Game: Developing into the Next Generation. In total, there are nine tracks and seven keynotes over the three days.

Outside the conference, Develop will be hosting its biggest expo yet. Attendees can meet some of the biggest names in the industry including Dolby, Microsoft, Sony Computer Entertainment, Unity, Unreal Engine and Valve, as well as discovering some of the newest talent in the Develop Conference Indie Showcase.

Centrally located within the expo, the Indie Showcase highlights ten unpublished, independently-developed games selected by a judging panel of industry experts. Delegates have the chance to get hands on with the games and vote for their favourite through the People’s Choice vote.

“With only a week to go, we’re delighted with both the quantity and high quality of content we are offering our delegates,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events. “We’re lucky to have some fantastic keynotes and great sessions, which will offer invaluable information for every type of developer – from the smallest indies to established studios. I’m really looking forward to welcoming everyone down to Brighton next week.”

Full information on the conference sessions and speakers together with who is exhibiting at the expo can all be found on the new mobile event app, sponsored by Microsoft, or you can find the information on www.developconference.com.