Train2Game News Site to bring indies together

image

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 GameLoading Rise of the Indies

image

Since its world premiere last month at industry events and select regional screenings, the GameLoading: Rise of the Indies feature documentary film has been generating strong chatter in videogame and online circles.

On April 21, GameLoading: Rise of the Indies will release through Steam, Humble, PlayStation, Xbox, iTunes, VHX and Playism.  Today through Friday April 29, early purchasers can place their orders for the film through VHX at a discount at www.gameloading.tv/pre-purchase/

    Standalone Film:     $8.99 (will be $9.99 after April 29)
    Member’s Bundle:   $14.99 (will be $19.99 after April 29)

Includes the film’s soundtrack, supplementary ebook and access to extra content, along with the film.

GameLoading explores the world of indie developers – their craft, dreams, and the ways they are changing the landscape of games culture. Indie games contribute to advancing the medium through their innovative, varied and personal approach. Small teams of passionate and creative developers offer an alternate voice to players. GameLoading captures this amazing time in the industry, where video games are becoming more personal than ever before.  While sharing a wide snapshot of the subculture, GameLoading focuses on a handful of developers; Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer), Robin Arnott (SoundSelf), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Tale of Tales (Luxuria Superbia), Trent Kusters (Armello) and Christine Love (Analogue: A Hate Story). 

After an early viewing, Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin called the film “an incredible and honest snapshot of the indie scene.”

In addition to these figures, the film also captures a wide variety of indie developers behind some of the most important games of the past few years and highlights this diverse, creative community on an international scale.  The film demystifies what goes into making a game, examines the different processes of developers, captures the excitement of industry events like PAX, GDC, the prestigious Independent Games Festival Awards and Train Jam, examines why we play, what success means, and where this medium has come from and where it may be going. 

By film’s end we get a clear and emotional snapshot of this alternate games industry segment that will inspire audiences to seek out new game experiences – or make games themselves!  While video games often carry perceptions of violence and anti-social settings, GameLoading offers a less publicized spotlight. We see how some indie developers are encouraging a dialogue on human issues such as mental illness, relationships, family grief, poverty and war.

Train2Game News Student in BAFTA programme

image

Indie Developer taught by Train2Game selected for BAFTA programme

Nicola Valcasara amongst the elite of the UK games industry accepted to join BAFTA Crew Games 2014

Professional video games creator who learnt his craft with Train2Game, joins experienced UK games developers in exclusive BAFTA scheme. Nicola Valcasara has taken one of 100 places available for Game Practitioners requiring at least two years professional experience in the games industry in the UK. The programme provides exclusive access to: Games Industry mentors, live QAs and podcasts, networking opportunities and scientific research in Game Design. 

Nicola has an outstanding reputation in the Train2Game community, having won a previous design competition with Rapid2D. He now works with another previous TrainGame student, Darroch McNaught, at Indie studio DeuXality Games. He’s set to learn a tremendous amount from  the course, masterclasses and online livestreams cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games 2014 is an interactive programme – working with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs.

Working with partners Creative Skillset and Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games 2014 will shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.

Nicola Valcasara, “I applied at the BAFTA Crew games 2014 in September, thanks to a research on the net about funding and game developing events. Now I have been accepted, this is a very nice way to show my face around and I hope it will move me one step further inside the Games Industry. This is a great opportunity to be involved in an interactive programme focused on making wonderful products and allowing me to meet important people in the game industry. I’ll also get to meet the other 99 people like me and share ideas and future projects.”

Train2Game News New RPG Maker allows mobile ports

image

Enterbrain and Degica collaborate on new middleware, which enables first official RPG Maker mobile ports.

Enterbrain recently partnered with Degica to distribute RPG Maker VX Ace, the latest version of the software, outside of Japan. Since teaming up, the pair have developed a new piece of middleware that allows developers to efficiently port RPG Maker games to mobile devices.

The RPG Maker software first emerged back in 1988 and, throughout several iterations, has remained the first choice when it comes to creating both traditional and innovative games in 16-bit.

Degica’s global director of sales and promotion, Mitchell Scott, said: “The RPG Maker software has been a great tool for aspiring and established game developers alike over the past two decades and we’re incredibly proud to be part of that legacy.”

While the majority of projects emulate major franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, numerous teams have capitalised on the flexibility of the engine to create unique experiences.

The likes of To The Moon are widely regarded as genuine indie success stories, with the game receiving numerous awards and praise from established publications and organisations including Gamespot, Wired and the Independent Games Festival.

Earlier this week, Undefeated – the popular RPG Maker title – was unveiled for mobile with a brand new trailer and an iOS/Android release date of 3 October, 2014.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Degica connects the dots between developers, distributors and publishers, and between the Eastern and Western markets. Their recent work with Enterbrain and RPG Maker aims to put the popular development toolkit, and the games it has spawned, firmly on the global map.

Train2Game News Your Beautiful Game Results

The results of Turtle Beaches Your Beautiful Game poll have been release and the number one beautiful game may surprise you.

Forget Far Cry 3, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker or The Last of Us – a Turtle Beach poll to discover the title that gamers care for most passionately has crowned Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress as the community’s most “Beautiful Game”.

Over the past four weeks, Turtle Beach has been asking fans to nominate the games they care most about by submitting videos, images or text through a special microsite at www.yourbeautifulgame.com. A shortlist was then compiled, from which members of the Turtle Beach community could pick their winner. Those who made the shortlist campaigned hard for support to try and ensure their beautiful game came out on top.

The campaign, which began in July and concluded this weekend, saw nominations for a huge variety of games. After thousands of votes  Dwarf Fortress triumphed over huge titles such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Far Cry 3 and The Last of Us to establish itself as the most popular game amongst the Turtle Beach community.

The top 15 beautiful games
1. Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
3. Far Cry 3
4. Call of Duty: Ghosts
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
6. Borderlands 2
7. The Last of Us
8. FINAL FANTASY X
9. Pac-Man
10. Halo 3
11. FIFA 14
12. Grand Theft Auto V
13. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
14. Super Mario Galaxy 2
15. Resident Evil

“It’s been really interesting to see the votes come flooding in for Dwarf Fortress,” said David Roberton, Vice President of International Marketing at Turtle Beach. “We had a strong and very eclectic list of nominations and are delighted, but not surprised, to crown Dwarf Fortress as the Beautiful Game. While some truly phenomenal games featured on the shortlist, Dwarf Fortress is an outstanding example of interaction design and proves that you don’t have to be a huge AAA title to really resonate with gamers.”

Train2Game News From Bytes to Boxed

Sold OutSold Out Sales & Marketing Limited, one of the UK’s leading publishers of boxed titles, claims that many independent developers are missing out on substantial amounts of additional revenue by ignoring traditional routes to market.

The firm – which recently announced a partnership with Team17 Digital Limited to bring its forthcoming digital titles to retail – is now actively seeking new publishing opportunities which can generate an additional tranche of revenue for the developer.

In the case of high-profile digital releases, many mainstream publishers have forecast that their digital revenues may be as little as nine per cent of their boxed income. Microsoft’s decision to keep boxed as part of their Next-Gen strategy indicates that even where a business intends to be primarily digitally focused, retail earnings are still very key in the revenue streams.

“Digital publishing has proved a fertile ground for innovative, lean independent developers – but many are ignoring additional opportunities – which is leaving that cash on the table,” says James Cato, Sales Director at Sold Out.

“Whilst the digital marketplace is undoubtedly convenient for indie developers, we’re able to very quickly and easily open up routes to traditional markets, reaching players who prefer to build physical collections – or those who remain fearful of purchasing online.”

In the latter half of 2014, Sold Out will bring at least seven new titles to retail – including some of the highest-profile digital releases of the year. More information will be revealed at a later stage. These titles will be in addition to Sold Out’s own digital releases across PC and home consoles.

“We’re actively seeking new partners,” adds James Cato. “We’re as simple to work with as it comes: getting your games into shops requires very little additional manpower, and we’re not interested in owning anyone’s IP or digital revenues, all we offer is additional profits and access to a traditional market – literally every sale we make is a bonus to our partners.”

For more information in working with Sold Out, please contact sales@soldout.uk.com / +44 (0)203 405 4585

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: Indielicious

IndieliciousIndieMedia officially launches www.Indielicious.com, a website dedicated to promoting small independent game projects.

Founded by Chris Shrigley, a veteran game developer, the site aims to provides free, promotional coverage to small independent game developers, hoping to publicize their games to a growing audience. The site is a mixture of previews, reviews, interviews, news, and editorials, aimed at smaller developers, who often find it difficult to find a voice.

The site will focus on smaller indies and students, trying to get their small projects noticed. There are so many fantastic and creative games out there that just don’t get the publicity they deserve, and Indielicious wants to change that. The site will give these passionate, creative individuals a platform to publicize their projects, from the initial early stages, all the way through to completion, totally free of charge.

Indielicious will also feature interviews and editorials from established independent developers, hoping to inspire new developers just setting out to pursue their game making dreams, and offer advice and their thoughts on making those dreams a reality.

This could be an excellent tool for some of our Train2Game Students to get their work the attention that it deserves!

Train2Game News: 32 developers announced for ID@Xbox

Xbox OneMicrosoft has revealed thirty two teams have signed up for their independent publishing programme, ID@Xbox.

Head of ID@Xbox Chris Charla announced the list of thirty two developers today with studios from all over the world including big names like Double Fine and Team 17 all the way down to smaller first time studios developing for Microsoft like The Men Who Wear Many Hats and Iron Galaxy.

Microsoft claims to have shipped over 50 SDKs to independent teams working on Xbox One projects, and intends to enable retail Xbox One units to be used as a dev kit in the near future.

“Bottom line, we’ve been blown away by the interest in the ID@Xbox programme, and we can’t wait until the games start shipping so players can experience the amazing titles that the independent developers will be bringing to Xbox One,” said Charla.

Iron Galaxy’s Dave Lang, makers of Divekick, added: “All developers care about is being able to make the games they want and get them into the hands of as many people as possible. Now, thanks to ID@Xbox, Iron Galaxy can bring Divekick to a Microsoft platform for the first time. We’ve been working on Xbox One games for a while now, and because of that you can bet Divekick will take advantage of all the platform’s unique capabilities.”

Microsoft are certainly stepping in the right direction to help the little studios get their foot in the door and get their games seen by a wider audience.

If you are interested in joining the current list of developers visit http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/developers/id

Train2Game News: Autodesk release Maya LT for Indie developers

AutodeskAutodesk has unveiled a new tool specifically targeted at indie developers. The 3D modelling and animation toolset is designed for developers working on mobile, PC and web, and can be integrated with game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine.

Maya LT includes a number of features such as enabling the creation of 3D assets of any size, with the ability to export FBX files containing up to 25,000 polygons per object.

The tech’s animation tools include a skeleton generation and inverse kinematics with Autodesk HumanIK, as well as viewport previews so developers can view assets as they would appear in-game. Other features also include lighting and texture baking, with developers able to use global illumination tool to create “realistic” lighting effects.

Autodesk’s latest tool will cost $795 per perpetual licence as oppose to the license for Maya which is almost $4,000. Short-term licenses are also available on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

“We see indie game developers as a key part of the industry, driving innovative new production techniques and gameplay,” said Autodesk Media & Entertainment VP Chris Bradshaw.

“The market is fiercely competitive, and Maya LT can provide indie developers and small studios with a powerful, yet simplified workflow for designing and animating remarkable 3D characters, environments and props – at a price that fits within even the most modest budget. It’s a practical solution that closely matches the needs of the mobile game development production cycle and helps developers rise above the noise and really shine.”