Train2Game News: Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon release date

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

What some thought to have been an April Fools joke has now been confirmed as reality. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is being released next month.

The game is set in a dystopian 2007 and Ubisoft describes the game as “an ’80s VHS vision of the future where you must get the girl, kill the baddies, and save the world”. The game will star Terminator and Aliens actor Michael Biehn who will likely voice the game’s eye-patched protagonist Sargent Rex Colt, whose mission it is to defeat a rogue cyborg army.

The title is set to be a stand alone title, you will not need Far Cry 3 to play the game. It is set to be released on Xbox Live Arcade, PC and PSN on May 1 according to previous leaks.

In addition Melbourne electronic music duo Power Glove has posted a series of new tracks that claim to be the Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon official soundtrack.

Far Cry 3’s lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem said earlier this year “I’m working on something now that will be surprising, I think, when it’s announced, but it definitely is a ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ thing, and we’ll see.”

You can enjoy a teaser trailer below, ready for the games imminent release:

You can find out more about the game by going to www.fc3blooddragon.com

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 29.03.13

Pokemon It is the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game games industry news round up!

In exciting news for Pokémon video game players across Europe, The Pokémon Company International announced the long-awaited dates and locations for the Pokémon European Video Game Championships. The English competition will be held in Birmingham on June 2. Players will battle for the chance to earn a Travel Award to the 2013 Pokémon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, this August. Visit www.pokemon.co.uk for more information.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Infinite Crisis, an all-new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Turbine, the award winning studio behind free-to-play online games including The Lord of the Rings Online. Infinite Crisis is a free-to-play game that features a deep roster of DC Comics characters and is scheduled for release in 2013 for the PC.

In further news from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, they announced two of its biggest mobile games, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix, are coming to Android, exclusively in the Amazon Appstore for Android. Expanded to and completely optimized for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD offers gamers with new ways to connect to their favorite franchises.

Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network have started their Spring Sales. Xbox Live’s sale runs from March 26 – April 2, and includes such titles as Dead Rising 2, Walking Dead, LA Noire, Max Payne 3, Resident Evil 6 and some of their movie offerings. The PSN kicked off its spring sale yesterday and it is running until April 9. In addition to the sale, it’s going to have a number of limited time offers, the first of which is Killzone HD, available till the April 29. Some of its games up for sale are Rayman 3 and Trine 2.

Electronic Arts, Sega, Sony, Codemasters and more have pledged support for the first Game QA & Localisation forum, taking place June 25-26 in London. The event will focus on best practices for test plans, QA budgeting and strategy with a mix of keynotes, sessions, panels and workgroups. Paradox, Outplay, Ganz, Plarium and Abertay University are also involved with the event. Full details can be found at the official site.

Train2Game News: Developer diaries go behind the scenes of PSN RPG Rainbow Moon

Get behind the scenes of upcoming PSN RPG Rainbow Moon in not one, but two, developer diaries from Eastasia Soft.

The first video gives you an introduction to the isometric role-playing game, while the second takes a detailed look at combat in Rainbow Moon. Watch them below, here on The Train2Game Blog.

Rainbow Moon is scheduled for release via PlayStation Network on Wednesday 4th July for £9.99, with a claim that the story lasts over 40 hours.

There are more developer diaries, giving an insight into the work going into development of a variety of games, here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your impressions of Rainbow Moon? Is it a game you’re interested in playing?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: How to create a “charismatic and interesting” spider

Train2Game students can get a good look at the tricky process of designing a video game character in an interesting blog update from Alien Spidy developer Kalypso

Alien Spidy is an upcoming 2D and 3D platformer that’ll be released through on PSN, XBLA, PC and Mac.  Quick reflexes and fast paced platform action are apparently required for the game that’ll be released in June.

The PlayStation Blog post details how Kalypso designed their main character, a spider, and made him “charismatic and interesting”

“After a lot of brainstorming, coffee, comic reading, watching cartoons and lots of other inspirational tools, we thought that it would be interesting to play around with a small spider with big eyes that would be able to bring some “human” emotional connection to the game.” said Product Manager Andrew McKerrow.

“ We also decided to stick six legs on instead of the standard eight legs to make the character a little more friendly looking and little less creepy, as there are a lot of people with arachnophobia! See, we do care!” he added.

That however, was just the beginning, and the blog details how Alien Spidy went through different stages of concept art and designing a story for the game. It’s a very interesting read, which will surely be of interest to Train2Game students. It’s here on the PlayStation Blog.

What are your thoughts on the blog post from Kalypso? Does it give you a good insight into the game development process?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: How testing changed Journey after leaving producer ‘disappointed in mankind’

Train2Game students who want to see the impact testing can have on a game in development need look no further than PlayStation 3 title Journey.

Why? Because in an interview with Siliconera, Thatgamecompany’s Robin Hunicke reveals Journey previously allowed more physical interaction between players, but it resulted in them trying to kill each other, something that left her ‘disappointed in mankind’

“We were doing play tests, where we invited players to come in and play the game. However, instead of cooperating and building a relationship each other, the players just kept attacking each other and pushing each other into the pit.” said Hunicke.

“At the time, I was very disappointed in mankind; we designed all the settings so they will help each other, but they still just kill each other, as if they don’t have any morality at all.”

The Journey produced added that she spoke to a child psychologist about the issue.

“When these guys enter the game, it’s a virtual space–reality does continue into it. When that happens, they become kids, and don’t know what they’re doing is bad. In that situation, the best way to handle that isn’t to shout or hit them, but to offer feedback.”  she told her.

So Hunicke decided to remove physics from Journey to encourage players to co-operate rather than hinder each other.

“So when I went back to the prototype, we removed the physics so they couldn’t push each other into the pit.” she said.

The Train2Game Blog has previously reported on Thatgamecompany’s views that testing is an integral part of game development. You can also get an insight into life at the studio and the development of Journey in this developer diary.

So, what are your thoughts on the impact playtesting had on Journey? Is it something you often do with your own games?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Indie devs need XBLA, PSN or Steam to succeed say Hello Games

Train2Game students have already published some of their own games online, but to have real success, they’ll have to publish them via XBLA, PSN or Steam.

That’s according to Hello Games, who published Joe Danger on the PlayStation Network last year. (You can read more about it here on the Train2Game blog)

“I think without the support of at least one of those outlets, the chances of success are reduced from tiny to almost non-existent,” Hello Games CEO Sean Murry said at Develop when asked about XBLA, Steam and PSN.

“I think that if you talked to other indie developers, they might say, ‘we’ve been turned down by Steam, or XBLA or PSN’. It’s a really common thing to hear, but it’s also often a real finishing blow for any studio.

“Often people are 100 per cent relying on it. Not just their approval process, but with someone like Apple you are 100 per cent reliant on them promoting your game. Without that, the service is nothing. It’s the same for Steam, it’s the same for XBLA, PSN – being on their services is only worth the amount of promotion that you’re going to be blessed with.”

Murray’s comments echo those of Frozen Synapse developer Mode 7 Games, who as reported by the Train2Game blog earlier this month, claimed Steam is ‘essential’ for indie developers.

Of course, as the Train2Game blog saw at Develop last week, it’s possible for indie developers to have success without the backing of a major distribution service, with Minecraft perhaps being the best example of this.

So Train2Game, where do you stand on the issue? Is XBLA, PSN or Steam needed for an indie game to be successful? Are you aiming to publish on one of those platforms in future?

As usual, leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

Good news for Train2Game students? Sony want to sell PSN games in shops

PSN logo Train2Game blog image

In a move which could theoretically benefit Train2Game students currently working towards a TIGA Diploma, Sony would like to follow Microsoft’s example and sell PSN games in video game stores. GAME recently started selling XBLA titles on the High Street, and SCEE President Andrew House wants Sony to do the same wish PSN games.

“We actually already have the same programme in place with GameStop in the US,” he told MCV.

“We would like to work with the right retail partners in Europe under the right model, to undertake the same sort of activity.”

If PlayStation Network games do reach retail, an indie game published by a Train2Game student led studio via PSN could theoretically also being sold in stores.

The news comes a month following the Train2Game blog reporting that Game Developers now have a better chance than ever to successfully make revenue through releasing games for the PlayStation Network.

Meanwhile, the Train2Game blog has also previously reported that both the PSN and XBLA are the ‘perfect platform’ for risky games, and could therefore potentially provide Train2Game students with their first steps into the industry via a self-published game. The success of Hello Studios Joe Danger provides a great example of what a group of Train2Game students could work towards.

Of course the PSN is also a great place to buy classic and ‘imported’ titles, as you can see on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the possibility of PSN content becoming available at retail? Do you think it’s a good thing for Game Developers? Will more PSN content be purchased if it’s available on the High Street along with being available digitally?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also send us your comments via the Train2Game Twitter page.

[Source: MCV]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios, TIGA and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see the official Train2Game Game Jam website, the official Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page, or listen to the Audioboo interview with organiser Dave Sharp. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

PSN gaining ground on XBLA

Train2Game blog image Scott-Pilgrim-vs-the-World PSN

Game Developers now have a better chance than ever to successfully make revenue through releasing games for the PlayStation Network. That’s according to figures released by market research firm FADE which show the PSN is  quickly catching up with the digital sales of Xbox Live.

The platform saw significant growth during 2010 with FADE estimating the figure to be 40% and with $9.3 million in revenues during December alone.

The time exclusive launch of Ubisoft’s ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ was the best selling title for the 2nd half of 2010 with 190,000 units sold. Familiar XBLA title, The Behemoth’s ‘Castle Crashers’ was the top-grossing game for the 2nd half of 2010, earning $2.1 million

The firm also suggest there are now over 100,000 PSN Plus users.

Top Selling Titles, by Units Sold on the PSN, July-December 2010 were as follows:

  1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Ubisoft) – 190,000 Units
  2. Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) – 143,000 Units
  3. ZEN Pinball (Zen Studios) – 127,000 Units
  4. Dead Nation (Housemarque) – 122,000 Units
  5. Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (SEGA) – 113,000 Units
  6. Critter Crunch (Capybara Games) – 100,000 Units
  7. Blacklight: Tango Down (Ignition Entertainment) – 97,000 Units
  8. DeathSpank (Hothead Games) – 97,000 Units
  9. Pac-Man CE DX (Namco Bandai) – 96,000 Units
  10. Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse (Telltale Games) – 80,000 Units

Last month, EA suggested digital publishing would overtake traditional retail this year. Train2Game forum users weren’t as convinced about this statement.

However, the increase in the use of the PlayStation Network to download games could be useful  for Train2Game students studying for a TIGA Diploma who wish to publish games on the platform in future.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the figures? Have you been downloading a larger number of PSN games recently? Do you think it bodes well for your future in Games Development?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively, you can direct your comments towards the Train2Game Twitter account.

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see the official Train2Game Game Jam website or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page

Train2Game’s 2nd Webinar Part Five

In Part 5 of the 2nd Train2Game Webinar, the panel continue to discuss about the merits of tarting off on your own… The panel also address how you can get your name out in the industry, why paid internship is the best way to get experience and how transferable the skills Train2Game teaches you are in other industries?

Key quotes include

Pete Hickman on the advantages independent developers have – “It’s all being driven by a strong e-distribution business. We’ve got Xbox Live, PSN, we’ve got the Nintendo equivalent, we’ve also got Steam on PC and Macintosh, which provides a great platform for people to distribute their independent games and hopefully that continues.”

Tony Bickley on preparing for the UK video games job market – “Be the best you can, stick out beyond the crowd, don’t be despondent…Think “the better I am, the higher my skill sets are, I’m going to be in the best place to get the job”

A PSN ‘Gold Service’ could benefit indie developers (like Train2Game students…)

With the E3 expo just around the corner, it’s now that time of year when games industry rumours are appearing thick and fast. We’ve already heard that GTA V might be making an appearance, but E3 isn’t just an event for developers to show off their shiny new games…they also use it to reveal a variety of other games related innovations.  The Project Natal and PlayStation Move control systems are probably going to be the headliners in this department, but there are reports that an announcement about a Premium Service for the PlayStation Network will prominent on the undercard.

Now, usually rumours about this sort of thing can be labelled under the banner of ‘wild speculation’ However, this information has originated from the well-respected VG247, and as a result has been taken very seriously by the video games press. So, what’s actually going on with this story?

Well, VG247 claim that a ‘highly placed source’ says Sony is set to unveil a premium subscription gold service for the PlayStation network that will cost “less than £50 per year”.

Cynics may suggest that Sony are merely attempting to imitate the success of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold service, while some PlayStation gamers will no doubt have concerns that they’ll have to play for the privilege of playing their favourite games online.  Well, it seems that PS3 users have nothing to fear in that department as the report says

“Nothing planned will impact the service’s current free aspects.”

Or to put it bluntly, you’ll still be able to play, say Modern Warfare 2, online without having to pay extra. (Unless you’re happy to give Activision money for extra DLC maps anyway)

Of course, details of what this proposed Premium Service would involve are sketchy at the moment, but it’s likely Sony has something up their sleeves.

What we do know is that according to VG247, the PSN Gold subscribers would get one free PSN game a month from a choice of “two to four” every month. Their source adds:

“If you work it out, PSN games cost an average of £6-9 each, so over a year you’re basically going to be breaking even,”

For those unfamiliar with PSN games, they’re games that are bought and downloaded from the online PlayStation Store for both the PS3 and PSP consoles.  These games started out as mainly re-releases of classics from the original PlayStation, but now there are more and more independent games available from the online store. Independent games available include the highly successful Flower which has won varies titles including Best Independent Game at the 2009 Video Game Awards.

Now, with the prospect of Sony offering a ‘set menu’ of PSN games for Gold subscribers, it’s entirely possible that some of these will be independent games. So, with these games being available for ‘free’ as part of the subscription fee, we could see PlayStation users take chances on buying independent games rather than just going for something they already played and finished ten years ago.

Essentially, it’s unlikely there has been a better time for a Train2Game student to try and get into the industry. Digital downloads are getting more and more popular and with innovations like Steam, Indie Bundles and the possibility of independent games being heavily pushed on the PlayStation Network, it means there are plenty of places available for Games designers, developers and artists to demonstrate and distribute their work.

Of course, we’ll need to wait until E3 to see what Sony actually reveal, but if free independent games are part of any package then excellent news. If they aren’t then fine, it’s not a massive problem because plenty of independent games sell well on the PlayStation store. Whatever happens, the future seems very bright for the games industry and who knows, maybe in the future a Train2Game graduate will make a huge announcement at the biggest games expo of them all.