Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 17.11.14

Call of Duty Advanced WarfighterA wave of new big name games has just been released but none were enough to knock Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare from the top spot. Assassin’s Creed Unity sneaks in to number two and Halo: The Master Chief Collection fights its way to third. The new LEGO Batman game has swooped in to fifth with the other Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue in sixth. Finally Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 heads to eighth in the table with the new World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, battling its way to number nine.

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Week ending 15 November 2014

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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 for the appropriate license.

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

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

More information on BlizzCon 2014 and the Virtual Ticket can be found at

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: New World of Warcraft expansion announced

wow_wod_logo_hires_m03At Blizzcon this past weekend, Blizzard announced the next expansion for World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor.

The fifth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, sends players to the world of Draenor at a pivotal moment in history to fight against and alongside legends from Warcraft’s brutal past.

Across Draenor’s savage jungles and battle-scarred plains, Azeroth’s heroes will engage in a mythic conflict involving mystical draenei champions and mighty orc clans, and cross axes with the likes of Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand, and Ner’zhul at the height of their primal power. Players will need to scour this unwelcoming land in search of allies to help build a desperate defense against the old Horde’s formidable engine of conquest—or else watch their own world’s bloody, war-torn history repeat itself.

“Warlords of Draenor gives players a chance to take a commanding role in one of the Warcraft series’ most crucial conflicts,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also includes features that make it easy for anyone to jump right into the action, whether they’ve played WoW at some point in the past or are just setting foot in Azeroth for the first time.”

To help new and returning players answer the call to arms on Draenor, the expansion will enable anyone to instantly boost one character to level 90, including a newly created character, quickly getting them up to speed and ready to enjoy the latest content with their friends.

To establish a foothold on Draenor once they’ve arrived, the displaced champions of the Horde and Alliance will be able to construct their own Garrison, an expandable, customizable stronghold that will serve as each player’s personal base of operations throughout the course of the expansion. As the Garrison grows, players will be able to recruit NPC allies and followers to take up residence, gathering resources and embarking on missions on the player’s orders.

Warlords of Draenor will also introduce fully revamped player character models and animations for many of World of Warcraft’s existing playable races, bringing the orcs, humans, and several other longtime residents of Azeroth up to the visual standards of newer races while still maintaining their iconic style and identity.

Along with these new features, World of Warcraft players will enjoy a wide array of new content on their way to the new level cap of 100, including new Zones, Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds, and more. Warlords of Draenor will also introduce questing improvements designed to encourage exploration and add unpredictability to players’ ongoing adventures.

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: Mid-week round up

Blizzard Entertainment released Mists Of Pandaria yesterday. The latest expansion for World Of Warcraft. Blizzard have also said that they have no fear of Windows 8 and will release games for any platform their players are on.

Avenged Sevenfold have released a new track that will feature on Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. The song, Carry On, is the second song the band have released for a Call Of Duty game. They previously released Not Ready To Die with one of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops DLC packs.

Telltale’s five Walking Dead episodic games will be put on disc in December for Xbox360 and PS3. The game is based on the graphic novel turned TV show and through playing them myself I can say, if you are a fan of the series, play this game. You won’t be disappointed.

Nvidia’s head of cloud gaming, Phil Eisler, believes that cloud gaming could take over from consoles. He believes that consoles have one final generation in them before they die out, leaving the world of gaming in the hands of the cloud.

Ubisoft have announced that Assassins Creed 3 will not play on Windows XP. The company has released the specifications needed to play the game. There is a version for Windows 8 in the pipeline though.

Bethesda have released an animated prequel to its upcoming Dishonored. The webseries is called Tales of Dunwall and the gorgeous animated shorts are being released in three parts. The videos can be found on YouTube and they show the downfall of the in game city.

Sony Xdev are giving a small studio the opportunity to win £25,000. This new initiative, called Playstation Pioneers, will reward developers for a PlayStation Mobile game concept and will also offer successful candidates the opportunity to work alongside XDev. Further details can be found here.

An extra four titles have been added to the Humble Bundle 6. The titles are: Bit.Trip Runner, Gratuitous Space Battles, Jamestown, and Wizorb. If you have already purchased the bundle, you will get the new games added at no extra cost.

If you are attending Eurogamer this weekend you can get a special surprise when you play Company Of Heroes 2. Everyone that plays the game or attends the developer session at the event will get a code to access a future beta for the game.

Finally Train2Game will be at Eurogamer this weekend. If you are attending go and say hello, it is always nice to meet these people. I will be attending on the Saturday so if you see me feel free to talk to me. I hope everyone that attends has a brilliant time.

Train2Game news: Ultima creator Richard Garriott on game design

Ultima series creator Richard Garriott  believes game design need to be more creative if the medium is going to continue to advance.

“There are tons of free-to-play, beautiful looking MMOs that are feature-complete and challengers in theory to World of Warcraft, they come across from Asia every day.” said Garriott, also known as ‘Lord British,’ in an in-depth interview with Industry Gamers.

“They’re all beautiful, they’re all full-featured – if you try to go why is this game not as good as World of Warcraft, you’d have a hard time picking individual features as to why, but with all of them you go, “look, it’s free to play, free to download, I’ll try it!”

But the man behind Ultima Online believes that rather than trying to introduce new features, many developers are just trying to recreate game design elements of their competitions titles.

“You go, “OK, kind of looks the same, here’s my town, here’s my shop, here’s my level one monsters I have to fight,” he said. “And you spend an hour or two going through the play cycle and finishing a quest and levelling up, and you go… well “OK, it works, but why do I care?”

“The vast majority of people are making these me-too games, they’re quality, there’s nothing wrong with them, there’s just nothing compelling about them.”

Garriott added that he hopes to be able to look at his own work, including Ultima and Ultima online and be satisfied with what he did to change games.

“And I’m hoping that if I look back on my career down through the years, I’m very proud of the fact that with some periodicity, I have truly advanced the art form in some meaningful way.”

The full interview with Richard Garriott, an interesting read for Train2Game students, can be seen on Industry Gamers.

So Train2Game, what do you make about his comments on game design? Does more need to be done in order to make games innovative?

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

[Source: Industry Gamers]

Train2Game news: Life experience great for game design ideas – Blizzard

Train2Game Game Designers will appreciate this, it’s advice from Blizzard on how to keep your stories and ideas fresh, and it’s to base concepts on your own life experience, even if it’s only loosely.

Train2Game students will know that Blizzard know a bit about successful game design, with 12 million still playing World of Warcraft.

“I’ve been in this racket about 17 years, and you tire out. How do you keep your ideas fresh? Well, the one thing that never stops is living.”  Blizzard Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen told PC Gamer.

“We have experiences. We grow as people. And really letting those experiences come forward – kind of being naked with them – that’s the kind of thing people can’t compete against. Everyone can come up with a new Trilithium Crystal Warp Drive, but what you can’t argue with is a person’s experience and the truth of it.”

And Metzen says Blizzard encourages their Game Designers to use their own experiences to create in-game content.

“So the trick from a leadership standpoint at Blizzard is to make it OK for these writers to really bring themselves out to affect these quests and characters. Ultimately, that’s what sings forward.”

“The clever shit will get trounced in no time. It’s like gameplay mechanics. You can put out an RTS with the best mission ever. Well, another company will put out something even better, because we’re all learning from each other.” he added.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Metzen’s comments? Could you use your own experiences to create characters and scenarios?

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

[Source: PC Gamer]

Analysts “unimpressed” by Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Design

As reported by the Train2Game blog, Bioware have previously stated that World of Warcraft is a big influence on their upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic.

But a report from analysts Cowen and Company reports suggests the influence on Game Design may be too far reaching and in a negative way. It makes interesting reading for Train2Game students anticipating the Star Wars themed MMO.

“We got hands-on time with the game, and were largely unimpressed” reads the Cowen and Company post E3 report.

“Despite promises from EA/Bioware that the title represents a major step forward in MMO design, what we saw was essentially a World of Warcraft clone with Star Wars character skins and the Bioware RPG nice/nasty dialogue tree mechanism bolted on for non-player character conversations.”

The ‘Flashpoint’ dialogue tree mechanism is described in depth by Bioware in a Train2Game blog post from April this year.

Meanwhile, the Art & Animation of Star Wars: The Old Republic is described as “competent but hardly breathtaking.” Cowen and Company predict that the game won’t even see release this year.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, publishers EA state that Star Wars: The Old Republic needs 500,000 subscribers to become profitable.

Train2Game students can attempt to see Star Wars: The Old Republic for themselves by signing up to be a beta tester. More information about how to do that is available on the Train2Game forum.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Game Design of The Old Republic? Should it stick to the WoW formula or do something new? What would you like to see in the game?

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


Splash Damage: MMO shooters are the future


Adding MMO elements to First Person Shooters is the future of the genre. That’s according to CEO of Brink developer Splash Damage Paul Wedgwood.

As the Train2Game blog has previously reported, the Game Developers believe Brink will ‘end the genre as we know it’

And when asked by CVG what would be the X-Factor for shooters in future Wedgewood replied:

“That’s really easy. I just want a really good massively multiplayer shooter, thanks. I’m desperate for it. Why isn’t there? I just can’t stand the fact that there isn’t one yet. I’d do it but 140 staff? Managing 140 people? It’s just so hard.”

“You know, for a long time it hasn’t been technically feasible because you need super low latency connections for good shooter combat and that’s generally incompatible with 1000 people being on a server at the same time”

“I think there’s definitely going to be some cool stuff that comes around,” he added “But I think the massively multiplayer shooter, one where we’re all engaged in the same continuous environment is the thing that’s going to truly impress me next.”

As Train2Game students will know, MMOs themselves are big business with World of Warcraft having over 12 million subscribers.  Star Wars: The Old Republic developers Bioware have claimed WoW is the ‘touchstone’ for MMO design, as reported by the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, can the MMO framework be transferred to the FPS? Would you be interested? And what are your thoughts on the upcoming Brink from Splash Damage?

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

[Source: CVG]