Train2Game News BlizzCon from home

BlizzconGrab your most comfortable chair and invite a few friends over to join Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo community celebration, taking place November 7 and 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Available for £ 24.99, the Virtual Ticket grants access to two exclusive channels of BlizzCon content on both days of the show, making it the next best thing to being there live. The BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket includes:

Developer Panels & Exclusive Interviews Get the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm news straight from the developers, and witness all of the epic moments as they happen live from the Main and Panel stages. In between, dig deeper into your favorite games in exclusive one-on-one interviews with Blizzard Entertainment designers, artists, and producers.

Community Contests—Hosted by Chris Hardwick Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and Talent Contest on Friday night. This year’s festivities will be emceed by stand-up comedian and podcaster Chris Hardwick, host of Comedy Central’s late night Internet-spelunking game show @midnight and creative head of geek-minded media network Nerdist Industries.

Closing Ceremony—Behold the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action—more details to be announced later.

On-Demand Replays—Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Epic Bonus Loot Unlock this year’s commemorative BlizzCon in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants early access to this year’s online BlizzCon merchandise sale, which will run from October 17 through November 11 and feature a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.

Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the opening ceremony and this year’s eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, Hearthstone World Championship, and Heroes of the Storm exhibition matches—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com.

More information on BlizzCon 2014 and the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com.

Train2Game News Blizzard hire Hearthstone player

HearthstoneA professional gamer has been hired by Blizzard to work on updates for the massively popular Hearthstone.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the card game based on the MMO World of Warcraft. Announced at the Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013, the game entered open beta in January 2014, and was released in March 2014. Hearthstone is available on the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and on iPad and Windows 8 Touch devices. iPhone and Android tablet platform releases are planned for the second half of 2014. As of March 2014, Hearthstone has more than 10 million player accounts registered worldwide.

One of those players, Ryan Materson, has now been employed by Blizzard as an associate designer and is expected to help with balancing the game for the new updates.

Materson, who is known as Realz, was the team leader of professional Hearthstone team, Mana Grind, before they disbanded. He is one of the most respected and talented professional players and this is what caught the eye of Blizzard.

On Reddit Materson said “This is a truly exciting opportunity for me, and (to rephrase from the words of someone I have long admired, who once entered a similar position) I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors and players at large that ‘one of us’ is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of the play. I really can’t wait to get started”.

Train2Game News Unity Award Winners 2014

unity-logoUnity Technologies, the creator of Unity, a flexible and high-performance development platform used to make creative and intelligent interactive 3D and 2D experiences, announced the winners of the 2014 Unity Awards at the 2014 Unite Conference in Seattle, WA.

Unity Technologies began the Unity Awards to honor the developers creating the best video games and interactive 3D and 2D applications using the Unity development platform. This year’s winners were chosen by a combined vote between Unity Technologies and the Unity community of developers. The winners are:

Best Student Project – The Rift: U.R.I.D.I.S. by URIDIS Team from ISART Digital
Best 3D Visual Experience – Monument Valley by ustwo
Best 2D Visual Experience – The Bridge by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Best Gameplay – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment
Technical Achievement – Shader Forge by Joachim Holmér
Best VizSim Project – Minto Longbranch Visualization from NVYVE
Best Non-game Project – Art and Skin by Alexx Henry Studios
Community Choice – Monument Valley by ustwo
Golden Cube – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment
The Unity Technologies team was the judges for the awards. In spring 2015, open nominations for the next Unity Awards will begin.

Train2Game News World Series of Video Games relaunched

World Series of Video GamesThe World Series of Video Games (WSVG), an internationally recognized gaming and electronic sports name, has announced its official comeback with the release of their new website (www.wsvg.net), software (WSVG BattleRoom) and mission.

Gaming is now a global phenomenon, and this new platform expects to improve the gaming experience of both casual and hardcore gamers around the world.

The WSVG was initially released in 2006 by Games Media Properties Inc. and achieved amazing success over the course of two seasons, with a special highlight being the main event held in China with more than 100.000 visitors. WSVG was also featured on the CBS network with its own TV show for four seasons, with each episode having 1 hour of broadcasting.

Luis Prata was recently appointed as CEO of the World Series of Video Games, Inc. He has been an influential entrepreneur in gaming and electronic sports since 1998, leading some of the first professional eSports teams, and organizing gaming events since 2006. Besides his position at WSVG, he is also a consultant to several sports organizations around the world.

Message from the CEO, Luis Prata:

“It has been a privilege to lead many young men and women throughout the years in the gaming industry, creating along the way the foundations for gaming as a competitive sport, available to anyone, anywhere, regardless of any physical disabilities, color, race or beliefs and bringing together people that otherwise would never meet. I will continue to promote gaming as a social platform for youth development, to end racial or other forms of segregation and offer a new vision on the importance of video games to society. I am dedicated to these goals and I would like to thank you for your continuous support.”

Now, the waiting seems to be over and WSVG appears ready to show the world its new face. With the increasing importance of electronic sports today, the WSVG is invested in bringing something innovative to a market that has much untapped potential. A major part of that innovative side will be their brand new gaming software called WSVG BattleRoom, which features proprietary technology and a powerful multi-game anti-cheat system.

WSVG is making its message loud and clear: no cheating! As electronic sports expands quickly, with increasing audiences and professional players, WSVG feels the absolute need to run cheat-free online competitions, which is increasingly important as the prize moneys have grown exponentially over the past couple of years. That’s what WSVG is aiming to achieve with this brand new software; WSVG BattleRoom will bring equality and justice to every online competitions: not only on the WSVG website and championships. Another innovative goal that the WSVG is looking to achieve is to supply their software to everyone. The software will be made available for free, not only for gamers around the world but also for league and tournament organizers. WSVG recognizes that there are only a few reliable anti-cheat tools and that none of them is openly available to everyone.

Besides that, all players, whether hardcore or casual, can find a great competitive variety of tournaments and leagues. Moreover, by registering on the website and playing in the competitions, players will be able to request on demand, private gaming servers, in order to play friendly or official matches for free. Those servers are already safe to play on, with the WSVG BattleRoom installed and setup in all of them. As noted on the server page, the WSVG BattleRoom is required for players to be able to play on both the public and private WSVG servers.

WSVG also has a ranking system available for the teams who participate in the competitions, making it even more fun. It is well known that gamers, like any other athletes, want to be the best, and with the ranking system, teams have yet another reason to participate in the competitions.

Part of building a community means that all the players and fans need to know the history of electronic sports as well as all the facts, teams, players, events, and platforms that helped in making eSports a real sport. In order to introduce such a rich history, WSVG also presents an eSports Wiki that features a variety of content, which most importantly gives everyone the opportunity to participate and contribute in building the community.

The goal is simple: WSVG wants to once again become a reference in the world of electronic sports. As a start, they have already acquired many international partners that will feature WSVG BattleRoom as mandatory software in their competitions and events.

World Series of Video Games, Inc. is currently seeking other eSports organizations, such as Live Events and Online Championships, in order to provide support and sponsorship with equipment, know-how and software, empowering the development of this new sport, worldwide.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 26.08.14

Diablo 3A couple of new games in the charts this week with Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil taking the top spot from The Last Of Us: Remastered. Lower down the chart Tales of Xillia 2 has entered at number ten. As we head towards the stretch towards Christmas the charts should begin picking up pace once again.

All formats

Week ending 23 August 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 DIABLO III REAPER OF SOULS ULTIMATE EVIL BLIZZARD -
2 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED SONY COMPUTER ENT. 1
3 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 15
4 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 3
5 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 4
6 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 2
7 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION 3 EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 5
8 THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 6
9 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 8
10 TALES OF XILLIA 2 BANDAI NAMCO GAMES -
11 TITANFALL EA GAMES 10
12 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 7
13 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 9
14 SNIPER ELITE 3 505 GAMES 11
15 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 12
16 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
17 FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 MICROSOFT 16
18 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 13
19 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 17
20 SKATE 3 XBOX 360 CLASSICS 19
< 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 Microsoft Azure has a clear blue Sky and no cloud!

Capture AzureMicrosoft’s Azure cloud-computing service, shown to many Train2Game students, suffered a major outage.

Azure, which allows users to run programs via the Internet, was eventually restored after a disruption that affected at least six major components in multiple data centres.

Service has now been restored. Below the messages posted by Azure.

August 2014

8/19

SQL Database, Storage, Virtual Machines, Compute – North and West Europe – Partial Service Interruption

From 09:38 – 09:58 UTC on 19 August, 2014 a subset of customers using Virtual Machines, SQL Database, Cloud Services, and Storage in West Europe and North Europe may have been unable to access their resources or perform management operations. This issue is now mitigated.

8/19

Virtual Machines \ Service Management and Cloud Services – East Asia – Partial Service Interruption

From 07:38 – 07:57 UTC on 19 August 2014 a subset of customers using Virtual Machines \ Service Management and Cloud Services in East Asia may receive an error attempting to access their Cloud Services or Virtual Machines .This incident has now been mitigated.

8/19

Websites – North Europe – Advisory (Limited Impact)

From 22:00 UTC on 18 August, 2014 – 02:00 UTC on 19 August, 2104 a small subset of customers using Websites in North Europe may have experienced intermittent connectivity issues to their websites. This incident has now been mitigated.

Train2Game News New BioWare Game

image

BioWare, have announced Shadow Realms, a new 4v1 story-driven online action RPG, set in a constantly evolving BioWare world where modern meets fantasy.

Four heroes adventure against another player-controlled enemy, a malevolent force called The Shadowlord, in dynamic 4v1 co-op missions, ensuring that no two battles are ever the same. Players will have the choice to play either as – or against – The Shadowlord, building experience and progression whether they have chosen good or evil. The over-arching narrative will be released episodically, playing out over time like a great TV series, providing players the ability to experience story-driven adventures as a community.

“This game brings us back to our roots in the realm of classic Pen and Paper RPG, but also delivers something that’s completely new and innovative for our fans,” said Jeff Hickman, General Manager and Vice President at BioWare Austin. “Shadow Realms is a new BioWare RPG that has the hallmarks of all BioWare games with a rich story, a unique world setting and deep combat progression, but built as an interactive experience that evolves the genre and broadens the appeal to online gamers all over the world.”

In Shadow Realms, Modern Heroes on Earth are being awakened and recruited, because of magical powers they never knew they had, to fight in a new and dangerous war against the Shadow Legions of Embra. The Shadow Legions, who have been battling on Embra for years against the members of the Radiant Empires, have gained new strength with the coming of a powerful, unknown force that we call the Shadowlords. And, they have just figured out how to leave Embra and invade Earth.

Join the battle with three other modern-day Heroes to fight the demonic Shadow Legions and a player-controlled Shadowlord to save all of humanity. Build both a Hero and Shadowlord that are deeply customized to the way players want to play.

Visit www.ShadowRealms.com/play to sign up for a chance to get into the closed alpha. Become a fan of Shadow Realms on Facebook and follow them on Twitter via @shadowrealms.

Shadow Realms is in development at BioWare Austin and will be available for the PC from Origin.

Train2Game News Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox One Exclusive

Rise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb Raider won’t be available on either PS4 or PC, following Microsoft’s deal to sign the game exclusively for Xbox One.

Following a bad reaction from PlayStation and PC users on the Crystal Dynamics forums, head of studio Darrell Gallagher has explained what he presents as the motivation behind the news.

“We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal,” he said. “I’d like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we’re creating at the studio.

“Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming.

“Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.”

Gallagher goes on to say that the team is working to make this the biggest and most ambitious Tomb Raider to date.

Train2Game News Resident Evil remake again!

Resident Evil ChrisCapcom today announced Resident Evil for PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC.

The hugely popular Resident Evil series, having sold over 61 million units to date, returns to its roots with a remastered version of the critically acclaimed masterpiece, Resident Evil. Originally released in 1996, Resident Evil was then “remade” in 2002 from the ground up with new visuals, gameplay elements, environments and story details while retaining the survival horror atmosphere the series had become synonymous for. Both fans of the franchise who want a trip down memory lane and those who have yet to experience the game that coined the term survival horror for the gaming world will appreciate this definitive re-visit of that iconic 2002 Resident Evil title.

Using the latest resolution enhancement and 3D model technology, game resolutions and textures have been significantly upgraded, including 1080p support on next-gen consoles, resulting in characters and backgrounds coming to life in greater detail than ever seen before in Resident Evil. Not only will the graphics impress but the tense sound effects have been fully remastered with 5.1 surround support for a greater gaming atmosphere. Players are now able to choose not only between experiencing the terror at the classic 4:3 ratio or a stunning 16:9 widescreen mode but also the type of control scheme they play with. The classic control scheme remains for fans of the original play style or there’s an alternative scheme where the character moves directly in the direction of the analogue stick, utilizing the standards of the current generation of gaming. Both the control scheme and the display options can be toggled between at any time during gameplay.

The intense horror fans first experienced with the release of the original Resident Evil is back. Taking place in the now notorious Raccoon City, players will choose to take on the role of either S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) team member Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, who have been sent into the city to find the missing Bravo team. When the team is suddenly attacked by a ferocious group of mutated dogs, desperate for an escape they take shelter in the Mansion, but will they ever get out alive again? Players will need to be brave as they adventure through the dark, enclosed spaces searching out the horrors that await them. With limited ammo and survival items available gamers will need to keep their wits about them to survive the various traps and puzzles that greet them at every stage.

Resident Evil will be available to purchase digitally across North America and Europe in Early 2015.

Train2Game News Neverwinter coming to Xbox One

NeverwinterPerfect World Entertainment Inc., a leader and publisher of widely-acclaimed free-to-play MMORPGs, announced today that Cryptic Studios is bringing popular free-to-play MMORPG Neverwinter to consoles.

Available first, free-to-play with Gold on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Neverwinter – set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe from Wizards of the Coast – is the first free-to-play title from Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios that will be launched on both PC and console platforms.

Players in North America and Europe can expect Neverwinter for consoles in the first half of 2015.

“Neverwinter is our premier title to bring to console players,” said Perfect World Entertainment CEO, Alan Chen. “Consoles are a perfect fit for action-oriented MMORPGs like Neverwinter, and we are thrilled to be one of the first publishers to bring premium free-to-play titles to leading next-gen platforms. Being able to bring Neverwinter to the Xbox One is a critical achievement for Perfect World. It is our first step taking our games beyond the PC market.”

Entering its fourth module on August 14, 2014 with Tyranny of Dragons, Neverwinter continues to provide authentic Dungeons & Dragons narratives and gameplay opportunities since launching in Summer 2013, and continues to grow with the D&D fan base.

“The addition of the new platforms is another piece of exciting news for Dungeons & Dragons fans in this pivotal year,” said Nathan Stewart, Dungeons & Dragons Brand Director. “We continue to work closely with Perfect World and Cryptic Studios to bring exciting new stories to players around the world.”

Neverwinter is an action MMORPG, set in the Forgotten Realms that features fast-paced combat and epic dungeons. Players explore the vast city of Neverwinter and its surrounding countryside, learning the vivid history of the iconic city and battling its many enemies. In Neverwinter, players can create their own quests and campaigns with the Foundry, a powerful content creation tool that allows players to seamlessly integrate their adventures in to the live game world.