Train2Game News VRTGO Conference

VRTGOThe North East of England will be host to the first major VR conference in Europe on September 11 2014 at the Baltic Centre in Gateshead.

The conference will be looking at both entertainment, commerical and serious applications for Virtual Reality. In addition attendees will have the oppotunity to go hands on with both Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift.

The conference will look at where the future of VR is taking the entertainment and games industry and see what this cutting edge technology can do for serious applications for automotive, modelling, training, marketing etc.

There will be speakers from a number of different companies talking about the different features of VR and how it can be used to create new exciting experiences. Speakers from SCEE, CCP and Zerolight with plenty more that are yet to be announced.

An after-show party is planned which could be excellent for networking and discussing ideas with other like minded individuals.

So attend and witness the future of interactive entertainment first hand. You can sign up using the eventbrite link here.

Train2Game News Cliffy B’s new game

Project_BluestreakBosskey Games plans to partner with Korean online games publisher Nexon to create the title, Bleszinski announced on his Twitter account.

Friends, @BossKey will be working with Nexon to publish a Free2Play Sci-Fi PC arena shooter code named #BlueStreak. #BossKey #UnlockTheFun— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) July 8, 2014

He added that the studio will not release a “fake CG trailer showing ‘Gameplay’ because that’s not how Bosskey does it.”

Guerrilla Games co-founder Arjan Brussee has joined Bosskey as its chief operating officer. Brussee and Bleszinski collaborated on the Jazz Jackrabbit platformer series.

Back in December, Bleszinski told press that he wants to make a “proper” arena shooter. “It will be a PC experience that will harken back to a certain type of game that we cut our teeth on,” he said. “A first-person shooter. It’s in my DNA.

“I want to get funding, I don’t want to do a Kickstarter. I’ve shown [the project] to various parties, and there are nibbles,” he added.

Source: CVG

Train2Game News Oculus Rift researched with Children

Oculus RiftGood news for Oculus VR and Facebook as new research from Dubit shows kids not only love to use Oculus Rift but they want to see it used in schools and other areas outside of gaming.

They are some of the findings from research recently carried out by youth research and digital entertainment agency, Dubit, and virtual reality consultancy KZero into children’s experiences of, and expectations for Oculus Rift – the virtual reality headset created by Oculus VR, which was acquired by Facebook for $2bn in March this year.

Dubit’s work was carried out with 12 children aged between seven and 12 years-of-age. All 12 played a variety of games using the headset (first development kit version) before working together in pairs to explain their feelings and reactions towards the technology.

Dubit’s head of research, Peter Robinson led the groups. Commenting on the children’s experiences he said: “The overarching message from our sessions is that children love using Oculus Rift and felt immersed in the games in ways they’ve never felt before! Comments along the lines of it being the best way to play games were common. Oculus VR may not see children as their core market but there’s no doubting the device’s potential popularity with kids.”

Robinson continued: “We were glad to see that none of the children in our groups felt dizzy or ill after using the headset; the only usability issues occurred when the children had to move their heads to look down and found the headset heavy. A couple of the younger children also reported fitting issues with the head-straps. With lighter headsets on the way we don’t see Oculus Rift causing many usability issues for young wearers.”

Since Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR there has been much discussion around the technology’s application outside of gaming. This was also covered in the research with Robinson saying: “Without prompting all children said they thought virtual reality would be great in their schools. They thought it would make lessons more interesting and allow them to take ‘virtual field tips’. But they wanted to do more than just visit new places; they wanted to go back in time and interact with people, like the Captain of the Titanic or people living in Tudor England and get their views on history. They were more interested about exploring history than changing it through gaming.

“We also found that children placed great emphasis on exploration – a trait they wanted to see in all games, not just educational experiences.”

Bearing in mind the age of the children Robinson didn’t find it surprising to hear them suggest that Minecraft would be great on Oculus Rift: ”It’s striking how much of an impact Minecraft has had on children’s gaming expectations. While most of the children wanted to see Oculus Rift used in first-person-shooter games like Call of Duty – yes, even the young ones – it was games that allowed them to explore, like Skyrim, or create their own content, Minecraft, that came up time and time again as being great fits for virtual reality. We didn’t have the heart to tell them that Notch had refused to bring his game to the system due to the Facebook acquisition – maybe now he’ll reconsider.”

During Dubit’s tests the children controlled the games using either head movements, an Xbox control pad or keyboard and mouse. Robinson said: “Xbox pads were the most familiar to the children and the preferred control method, unless the games were meant to be passive, like the rollercoaster simulator, in these cases they were happy to have no control. In most cases the children wanted even greater immersion and suggested peripherals such as steering wheels would make the experience feel even more realistic. Kinect was suggested so the game could track the player’s movements. The consensus was that an innovative device like the Oculus Rift needed an innovative method of control.

“While we understand that it won’t be children buying this technology with their pocket money it’s still interesting to see how much they think it will cost. It can also help us understand whether they see it as better or worse than current technology.
“While there was quite a swing between estimates the average price suggested by the children was £430, quite a lot higher than we expected. To gauge their ability to estimate such costs we asked them to guess the price of existing technology like games consoles, mobile devices and TVs. In all cases, except for the TV, their average estimates were within £50 of the correct price, showing they have a good idea of tech costs.”

These focus groups are the first in a number of internal research projects being carried out by Dubit on the new technology. The company also comprises of a games development studio, creating virtual worlds for the likes of BBC Worldwide, Cartoon Network and PBS KIDS. Their work in virtual reality began with their first virtual world for Oculus Rift, Fairy Forest. Over the next six months the agency is will publish further work, this time with the University of Sheffield, that looks to provide understanding of how children engage with entertainment across devices and platforms.

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 More Roll7 Testing opportunities

roll7Our friends at Roll7 have asked for Train2Game students to visit them and test their port of their hit PSVita game OlliOlli.

The studio are currently porting OlliOlli to PC, Mac, PS3 and PS4. They are interested in finding students at Train2Game to attend and give feedback regarding how it plays on the new platforms.

The details for the testing are as follows:

Location: New Cross, London
Dates: Between June 9th and June 20th , Monday to Friday
Duration: 2-3 hours
Times: Slots of: 9:30am-12:30pm or 2pm to 5pm

We are ideally looking for students who are relatively close to New Cross, London
Any students coming in to test from London can claim their travel expenses back from us
Anybody who wishes to travel further is welcome to but travel cost will not be provided.

Anyone who has an interest in signing up with us should email: sam@roll7.co.uk with the Subject: OlliOlli testing. Leaving their name, location, current college course, preferred gaming platform and contact number so we can get back to them on available days/slots.

Train2Game News Unity introducing multiplayer tools

unity-logoUnity is developing an array of new multiplayer tools and services for developers using its game engine.

The first phase of the new UNET project will include features such as a high performance transport layer based on UDP to support all game types, a matchmaker service and a relay server to help solve connectivity problems.

The new multiplayer tools will be introduced when Unity 5 is released later this year.

You can find more details on UNET here.

Unity’s announcement comes as indie developers have aired mixed opinions on whether multiplayer games are viable for small teams What are your thoughts?

Train2Game News Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate comes to PC and Consoles

Batman AO BlackgateWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today are releasing Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition for digital download on all platforms.

Developed by Armature Studio, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition enhances the core pillars of the previously released handheld version of the game with high-definition visuals, an all-new map system, new enemy encounters, difficulty levels, and batsuits.

Fans can begin downloading the game today on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Games Store, Nintendo eShop and STEAM.  The game is scheduled for release in Europe and other international territories beginning 1st of April on PC and in the Xbox Live Games Store, 2nd of April on the PS3™, and later in April on the Wii U.

Previously only available for PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system and Nintendo 3DS handheld system, and created as a companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition features enhanced high-definition 2.5-D graphics and, 5.1 surround sound. Players will be able to guide their way through Blackgate prison with the new navigational system created for this version of the game. In addition, they can suit up with the exclusive Zero Year Batsuit skin which players can unlock by registering for a Warner Bros. ID (WBID) account.

Set three months after Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman is summoned to restore peace and order within the walls of Blackgate Prison. Players will explore the depths of the island penitentiary as Batman investigates and realizes that there is more to the henchman uprising than initially meets the eye.

You can enjoy the trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate below:

Train2Game News Winners of PR Competition Announced

Swan PRIcey Monty and Derp Studios scoop a month’s free PR in Swan PR Competition. Train2Game student studios beat stiff competition to win free PR services from the leading technology and gaming PR firm.

Judges couldn’t separate the two potential winners of The Swan PR competition, deciding the best thing to do was to have two winners. Both studios will now have PR packages designed for them and Swan PR’s support for a month of PR activity. Icey Monty wowed the judges with its online games website Gamonaut, which releases a new title every week. Whereas Derp Studios impressed the judges with its 2 Souls game, which has players controlling two characters in a platform puzzler.

Harry Cole, Operations Director, Swan PR: “When we launched the competition we didn’t know what to expect from the students, but as soon as the entries began to come in, we were delighted at the standard across the board. We selected Derp Studios and Icey Monty as their titles were what we would describe as ‘ready to go to market,’ we played the games and straight away saw their potential. We can’t wait to start working with both teams.”

Christopher Ledger, CEO, Derp Studios: “We are extremely happy to be joint winners with Icey Monty (well done guys!), it has been a challenging few weeks. We would like to say a massive thank you to Nicola and Darroch for their hard work on developing such a great title and seizing the opportunity to use this competition as a boost to our studios success.”

Nick Walker, Director, Icey Monty: “We’re extremely grateful for the fantastic opportunity that Train2Game and SwanPR have generously awarded us. We would also like to congratulate Derp Studios, as they deserve this success. It’s a humbling surprise to all of us at Icey Monty Ltd, including our partner at Gamonaut. We look forward to the coming month!”

The Swan PR team will be taking the studio’s games to UK press for reviews and features, as well as advising on social media. The studio’s creations will feature in blogs and on websites, getting the much needed publicity that will result in titles getting in the hands of gamers. Introductions will also be made to business connections to give the teams further support in releasing their titles.

Watch this space as Swan PR will continue to announce more details of the winning studio’s games.

Train2Game News Free App Game Kit available this week only

App Game KitCross-platform development tool App Game Kit has been made free for all developers throughout GDC this week.

AGK enables developers to code in AGK or C++ and then compile their game to their target platform of Android, iOS, Mac or PC.

The game engine has been used in titles such as Cannon Ball, Hide It Find It and Jumping Jack.

“AGK is a tool we needed at TGC, it’s already saving us time and money developing new apps. This is our gift to the development community; grab a copy while you can,” said The Game Creators CEO Lee Bamber.

The offer for AGK will end on March 21st. To take advantage of the offer, developers must use the voucher code AGK4FREE.

The Game Creators is currently at GDC to showcase its tools.

Visit the official website for more information.

Source: Develop

Train2Game News Dream Harvest Games Artist Position

2537336243-Dreamworks logo finalDream Harvest Games, a friend of Train2Game, are looking to recruit an artist from the pool of Train2Game students.

Dream Harvest is just coming to the end of the prototyping phase of their top down action sci fi puzzler game. They are looking for a determined, talented 2D artist who works well with others and will be committed to the project.

The current studio is made up of a mixture of highly talented professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Getting a chance to work with these people would certainly assist your future prospects for employment or could lead to coming on board full time with the team.

The game has a science fiction theme that plays on the idea of how an aristocratic society, limited in their ability to run their city, enslaves their own population. Morality, Power and Control are all themes that are prevalent in the story and as you can imagine the game is built around a strong narrative and is targeting the core market. It will initially be released on PC, Linux and Mac with future plans to release the game on to Microsoft and Sony Consoles.

Your Job:

  • Development and preparation of prototypes and style determination in close collaboration with our Lead Artist.
  • Development of ideas from concept through quick sketches to finished illustration
  • Planning and independent implementation of graphic concepts for game worlds, characters, vehicles, storyboards and other visual content of our game
  • You will find sound solutions to any challenges that arise. Development and management of internal design ideas and continuing education programs. Close cooperation with the designers, programmers and audio designer.

Your Profile:

  • A solid experience in visual arts, animation, visual effects.
  • Very good knowledge of Photoshop or other 2D art and painting programs
  • Excellent traditional and digital drawing skills
  • Extremely well versed in anatomy, proportions, perspectives and color theory
  • You have distinctive communication skills — and you enjoy working in a team
  • A very good knowledge of English, both spoken and written
  • Passion for the development of games

Additional plus:

  • Knowledge of Unity
  • 2d animation skills
  • Knowledge of 3d programs

We offer:

  • An exciting job where you can assume responsibility and develop professionally
  • A dynamic team with friendly, highly-qualified colleagues from all over Europe
  • A culture of mutual respect and active training
  • Shared equity percentage profit share program once game is released

This is an equity share position and the experience and knowledge you could gain from working here is invaluable.

If you are interested in the position email your CV and Portfolio to applications@dreamharvest.co.uk

You can also find out some information about the team and previous projects on the Dream Harvest Website here: www.dreamharvest.co.uk