Train2Game News: SpecialEffect Item in Team Fortress 2

Virtual ViewfinderSpecialEffect today announced that the first of their three premium in-game items for Team Fortress 2 has been released in the in-game store through Valve’s Steam Workshop platform.

The item, called The Virtual Viewfinder, produced as a result of their initiative with SEGA Europe Ltd., is available for purchase for £2.99 in the Mann Co. Store, where SEGA’s proceeds of each sale will go direct to the charity.

Mark Saville, Communications Officer at SpecialEffect, said “This is a huge day for us in terms of how the gaming community is able to support our work helping people with disabilities to play video games. It’s the first in-game donation stream that we’ve had, and we’re excited that gamers now have such a direct and engaging way of helping.”

James Schall, Director of Digital Distribution at SEGA Europe, said, “We’ve been blown away by the support from the community. The wonderful comments across the web supporting what we’ve done are incredibly humbling for the team and now gamers can directly support SpecialEffect and get their hands on some great items in one go.”

He added, “I’m a proud ambassador of SpecialEffect and a huge fan of the way they use technology to enrich the lives of those with disabilities. We enjoy a fruitful and collaborative relationship with Valve based on mutual respect; it’s great to be able to use this relationship to drive awareness and revenue for this fantastic charity.”

Players can purchase the item at:

http://store.teamfortress.com/itemdetails/170966833

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect needs the help of Train2Game students with Steam initiative

Team Fortress 2 SpecialEffectSpecialEffect is asking for the help of Train2Game students who use Valve’s Steam system! The charity who provide video gaming equipment to people with disabilities need your votes.

A few select artists from the Steam community have created SpecialEffect themed items for the game Team Fortress 2 and with your votes they can be in game this summer! The items that have been designer are: a viewfinder, cabinet and belt pack. 99% of the profits from these items will go to help disabled players enjoy games to the best of their abilities thanks to the work done by SpecialEffect.

This idea is the brainchild of James Schall, SEGA’s Director of Digital Distribution.

“Demand for SpecialEffect‘s help is rocketing,” said James. “And I’m excited about the potential of these generous artwork donations to kickstart a big-hearted response from the TF2 community to help meet that demand.”

“It’s a fantastic gesture,” said charity CEO Mick Donegan. “Gamers get what we’re trying to do, and to get that support from artists within the community is a real endorsement of our work.”

“We need £750k this year to give people a fighting chance through specialised games control equipment. We’re bringing this technology directly into the homes and hospitals of the people who need it most, and transforming the lives of people with the most severe disabilities through cutting-edge equipment like eye control and brain control.”

You can vote for the items to be in Team Fortress 2 by going to the link below:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=156361911

You can also find the items from within Steam itself by selecting Workshops from the Community menu. Hit the link in the grey text below the main ‘Create, Discover…’ heading, and on the next page type ‘special effect’ in the search box (note the space between the two words!). Then hit the Rate button.

If you would like to check out the pages of the artists who created the items for SpecialEffect you can view them in the links below:

Psyke

Svdl

*゚✲*。✧*☆Twilight Sparkle☆*✧*✲*

void~

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 16.01.13

Valve logoIt is that time of week for the Train2Game mid-week round up!

Valve has announced plans to to discuss a port of Team Fortress 2 to virtual reality goggles. The first talk will be programmer Joe Ludwig’s ‘What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality’ and it will explore the efforts of several employees over the last year to get the game to run in virtual reality goggles. In addition, Valve’s Michael Abrash will discuss the hardware challenges that lie ahead and possible solutions for virtual and augmented reality in ‘Why Virtual Reality is Hard (And Where it Might be Going).’

Square Enix have launched a new website to tease all fans of an upcoming iOS game. More information is to be released on January 17. The site has an image of what looks like a front end menu for the game which is called, Final Fantasy: All The Bravest. You can check out the website for yourself here: http://www.jp.square-enix.com/ff_atb/

Since Activision brought out Skylanders it has done very well and now Disney has seen it’s potential. They are now doing their own version with the announcement of Disney Infinity. Infinity will work in the same way as Skylanders, needing action figures and a “toy box” base to give players access to different worlds. Disney fans will recognize plenty of familiar faces, like Captain Jack Sparrow, the cast of the Incredibles, and Sully from Monsters Inc.

Surreal game creator Suda51 has revealed details of his next game, Killer is Dead. The game stars Mondo Zappa, a 35 year old American executioner that abides by a strict suit-and-tie policy and his left hand is a gun that can also transform into a drill and is used primarily to absorb an enemy’s blood for an “Adrenalin Burst” attack. The game’s antagonist is Victor, who can manipulate emotions through song. He’s appropriately styled to look like classic composer, except has a green face and glowing eyes.

Online and mobile are spearheading the game industry’s growth to a potential total valuation of $83 billion by 2016, according to new research. Conducted by Digi-Capital, the global games investment review states that online and mobile could have a revenue share of $48 billion in 2016, 55 per cent of the entire game industry. The biggest driver in mobile and tablet app revenue meanwhile will be free-to-play, which could deliver 55 per cent of revenue in the sector and account for 93 per cent of app downloads by 2016.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 24.10.12

Steams Workshop, which is used to create content for games such as Team Fortress 2 and Skyrim, has turned one. The user created content has subsequently earned “millions of dollars” for their creators and Steam themselves.

The Greatest Video Game Music 2, the follow-up to the best-selling video game album of all time, will be released worldwide on Nov 6 and has been performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra. The digital soundtrack album will include 17 new orchestral renditions of video game theme songs like Halo, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and the ever-so classic Final Fantasy VII.

Following the success of Borderlands 2, an iOS spin-off has been confirmed with a release date of October 31. The game sees you play as the original 4 vault hunters from the first Borderlands in a wave-based survival game. Additionally, in true Borderlands style you can earn experience and level up your characters, unlocking new skills and abilities with each character having their own set of unique skills and abilities.

The first reviews of Hitman: Absolution have surface in Official Playstation Magazine UK and Official Xbox Magazine. Both magazines gave the game 9 out of 10. OPM said “This is the peak of the series so far” and OXM said “it a triumph of stealth and sandbox design that retains everything that fans have ever loved about the series”.

Wish Studios, a newly formed studio in Brighton, is working with Sony to develop a new IP. While other details about the partnership remain shrouded in secrecy, the status of Wish’s new client will likely serve as a significant help to the recently founded start-up’s presence in the industry.

A report by Google has said that over 50% of people use their tablet for gaming. The only activity performed more than gaming on a tablet is checking emails. The study, which was commissioned and published by Google, found that 51.5 per cent of its participants used their tablet for gaming in a two-week period.

The new dashboard for the Xbox was launched yesterday. It includes an internet explorer app giving the console a browser and the newly launched Xbox music which is similar to that of Spotify. The update also saw the removal of the Twitter and Facebook apps.

In an interesting collaboration, a new mod was made for the MMO World of Warcraft which sees the newly introduced pet battles become Pokemon battles. The aptly name WOWkemon sees a short tutorial by Professor Birch describing the Pokémon-ified battle screens and ability menus with the familiar sounds, screen effects, and even the font closely resembling the style of the handheld game legend.

Train2Game News: Valve releases Source Filmmaker

Valve has introduced Source Filmmaker, the video creation tool they’ve used to make over 50 animated shorts including the nine Team Fortress 2 ‘Meet the’ class films.

It could be a fun way for those on the Train2Game Art & Animation or QA Tester course to practice their animation or editing skills. Those interested in a free beta invite can sign up via the Source Filmmaker website.

“The Source Filmmaker is the movie-making tool built and used by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine.” reads the Source Filmmaker FAQ.

“It is how we have been making all of our animated short movies. Because the Source Filmmaker uses the same assets as a Source-engine game, what goes into the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa.”

“By using the hardware rendering of a modern PC gaming machine, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a “what you see is what you get” environment so that they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.”

Valve has released a series of tutorial videos for the Source Filmmaker, the first of which you can see below, right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Source filmmaker arrives on the third day of Team Fortress 2’s Pyromania event, which has also seen six community created weapons added to the popular free-to-play shooter.

Be sure to keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news from Valve and Team Fortress 2.

Will you be trying out Source Filmmaker?

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

Train2Game News: Team Fortress 2 Pyromania update adds 6 community created weapons to the game

Team Fortress 2’s Pyromania update is into its second day and introduces six new weapons, all of which have been created by members of the TF2 community.

The update for Valve’s free-to-play shooter includes user-created weapons for the Sniper, Solider and Scout classes, in addition to The Scorch Shot for the Pyro.  It was the Scorch Shot which featured in a ‘How a gun gets made’ video you can see here on The Train2Game Blog.

As of August last year, Team Fortress 2 players had earned $2 million through their custom weapons being added to the game then sold in the game’s virtual store.

Valve has a reputation for supporting modders, with Chet Faliszek, a game designer at the Bellevue, Washington studio, previously telling the Train2Game Blog that modding is a great way to get noticed in the games industry.

There’s more about community created items and modding – both excellent ways for Train2Game students to practice and showcases their skills – here on The Train2Game Blog.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep reading for the latest news from Valve and Team Fortress 2.

What are your thoughts on community created weapons forming the bulk of the latest Team Fortress 2 update? Are you inspired to make items for the game?

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

Train2Game News: How to create and share a weapon for Team Fortress 2

Ever wanted to create weapons for Team Fortress 2, but you’re unsure how to do it? Well, Valve has posted a piece on the TF2 blog titled ‘How a gun gets made’ and it does exactly what’s said on the tin.

The blog is by Team Fortress 2 workshop contributor Jalcober, who takes us through the development of the Scorch Shot, a weapon for the Pyro. It goes all the way from original concept art, through designing it in 3D to painting, texturing and publishing.  Read the blog here, or watch How a Gun Gets Made in the video below.

Jalcober’s community created weapon is going to feature in a future update for Team Fortress 2. As of August last year, Team Fortress 2 players had earned $2 million through their custom weapons being sold in the game’s virtual store.

Valve’s Steam Workshop now features in a variety of games including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Portal 2 and DOTA 2, allowing players to create and share their own in-game creations .

There’s more about community created items and modding – both excellent ways for Train2Game students to practice and showcases their skills – here on The Train2Game Blog.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep reading for the latest news from Valve and Team Fortress 2.

Does ‘how a gun gets made’ provide you with useful information? Have you submitted items to the Team Fortress 2 Steam Workshop?

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

Train2Game news: Team Fortress 2 community makes $2m from created items

Train2Game blog readers will have previously read that since the introduction item store to Team Fortress 2, community item creators have been earning money for their work.

Now a year on since the Mann. Co store was introduced, Valve has revealed that community item creators have collectively earned over $2 million from selling the items in the virtual store.

They’ve also introduced an update called ‘Steam Workshop’ that’ll make it easier for community item creators to test, share and get feedback on their weapons, hats and items.

“The ‘Mann Co. Store’ represents an important new direction for games and game makers,” said Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell.

“By leveraging and extending the platform features of Steam, Team Fortress 2 has enabled a viable marketplace for independent content creators and significantly extended the gameplay experience in an incredibly short amount of time.”

Of course, this being Team Fortress 2, the Manniversary Update also sees the introduction of plenty of new hats. Train2Game students can find out about the modelling process behind Team Fortress 2 hats here on the Train2Game blog.

Team Fortress 2’s community tools could potentially allow Train2Game students to submit items to the game, make money and earn a reputation from their creation.

Valve have a reputation of being supportive of their community, and activity encourage modding using the Source SDK.

And in an interview with the Train2Game blog last month, Valve’s Chet Faliszek told us that modding is a really good way to get into the games industry.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” he said.

“Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.”

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Mann Co. Store? Is it a good way for game developers to get noticed?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game news: The making of a Team Fortress 2 hat

Train2Game Art & Animation students should find this interesting; a post on the Team Fortress 2 blog reveals the step by step process of building a hat.

For those unfamiliar with Team Fortress 2, players can customise their characters with hats and other accessories. And as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, many community created hats have made it into Team Fortress 2, with the creators earning money from the sales!

But anyway, The Making of a Skull Hat details the creation process from just a concept, to modelling, to adding a polygon mesh and texturing. It makes an interesting read for Train2Game Art & Animation students.

Valve are extremely open to community contributions in Team Fortress 2, and have keenly supported modders over the years, with many joining the development studio.

Indeed, speaking to the Train2Game blog last month, Valve’s Chet Faliszek told us that modding is a really good way to get into the games industry.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” he said.

“Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.”

So Train2Game, what do you think about the process behind making a Team Fortress 2 hat? Would you consider making a submission?

Leave your comment here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Team Fortress 2 blog]

Train2Game good news for modders! Source SDK will soon be free

Exciting news for Train2Game modding enthusiasts! Valve has revealed that their Source Software Development Kit will be available to anyone for free.

The announcement comes following Valve stating that they were working on making the Source SDK ‘less painful to use, as reported by the Train2Game blog earlier this year.

Currently, you need to buy a Source based game such as Half-Life 2 in order to gain access to the mod tools, but it appears Team Fortress 2 going free-to-play last week has fundamentally changed this.

The news of the Source SDK becoming free first appeared on Reddit, after a mod tester known as Riley contacted Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker to ask if buying an in-game item would allow access to the tools. Walker replied with:

“Yep. That said, your email has triggered a process here that made us re-examine that, and we’re going to just go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available. Thanks for making us better!”

PC Gaming blog Rock, Paper Shotgun also contacted Walker to confirm the news, to which he replied:

“We are in the process of getting it all done. It’s a bit messy because we have multiple versions of the SDK, and there’s some dependencies we need to shake out. But yes, the gist of it is that we’re just going to go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available.”

So there’s good news for budding Train2Game game developers, you’ll now be able to access the Source modding tools for free!

Valve have a long history of supporting modders, and as many Train2Game students will know, the popular shooter Counter-Strike begun as a mod for the original Half-Life.

More recently, Valve have allowed Team Fortress 2 community developers a cut of the revenue made from the in-game items sold through digital transactions.

In an interview published on the Train2Game blog last month, Red Faction: Armageddon Lead Level Designer Jameson Durall said that modding is an excellent way for those with desires to get into the games industry to practice their skills.

So Train2Game, will you be using the Source SDK? Have you used it before? And does the  support Valve give mods inspire you?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Rock, Paper Shotgun]