Train2Game News: Eurogamer Expo 2013

Eurogamer 2013The past weekend was one I look forward to every year. It was the annual Eurogamer Expo and this year was completely sold out.

I attended the event with a couple of friends of mine, one of whom had never attended a gaming event before so it was nice to see his eyes light up at the sight of the event. There is nothing quite like your first time!

The first game we ended up playing was the new Lego Marvel Super Heroes game from Warner Brothers Interactive. The game was similar to the other Lego games just involving all of your favourite Marvel heroes! The only other Lego game I had played was the Lego Batman game so I was quite shocked when the Lego characters started talking to me. Certainly a fun game to try if you can.

Second one of my friends and I discovered an XBLA game there that we were both interested in which was a game called Foul Play by Medatonic. The game was an entertaining side scrolling hack and slash which has no health bar. The game instead rewards big combos in a similar way to Guitar Hero. I would describe this as Guitar Hero meets Castle Crashers. Foul Play is out now and I will be buying it soon.

Next I decided to start tackling the main objectives I had set myself for the weekend and started with Batman: Arkham Origins. I am a big Batman fan and absolutely loved the other two Arkham games and was a bit worried when I found out that Rocksteady wasn’t going to be doing this game as I imagine most batfans were. My worries were put to rest on playing the game though. It plays exactly like Arkham City, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! My other worry was the voice actors for Batman and Joker. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are the characters I hear when reading them so when they weren’t in this game I worried. I have to say though they both have excellent voices and I could find no fault with the small window of the game that I tried. I will definitely be pre-ordering my copy soon.

I then got two birds with one stone as I tried Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on a PlayStation 4. The game was absolutely gorgeous and they have really polished up the ship sections from AC3. I enjoyed the quite open sea feel that I got from the game but couldn’t test much more than that in the time I was given.

The PS4 graphics were of course jaw droppingly stunning but what surprised me was how comfortable the joysticks were on the controller. They have just the right amount of indentation on the joysticks so your thumb slots in and is firmly in place for those more frantic moments.

The final game I tried out for the day was Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. I never played one of the  Killer Instinct games before so it was all new to me. I was paired up with a guy I didn’t know to play the game and it turned out we were incredibly evenly matched! We had two and a half games, the first he one with very little health left, the second I one with very little health left and the third one got cut short saw him well in the lead. The game was easy to get on with and just pick up and get to fighting!

Again the graphics of the Xbox One were beautiful with every little detail on display and much like the PS4 the XB1 has an incredibly comfortable joystick for your thumb to fit in to.

It was a great event as it always is but I wish I had more time to get to grips with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. I do certainly advise you to go next year though as in the three years I have been, I have never been disappointed.

You can view all the developer sessions from the weekend at http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/eurogamer-expo-2012-live-developer-sessions

Train2Game News: Xbox360 Ultimate Game Sale!

Xbox 360Train2Game students with an Xbox360 will be happy to hear that they have a great game sale this month!

On Xbox360 today you can pick up Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, Far Cry 3 and Max Payne 3 for just £8.99 each which is incredible value for some of the last years biggest games. There’s a range of offers which last all week too including Bulletstorm, Crysis and the first Mass Effect.

Some of the games offered over the week are as follows:

  • Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway – £4.49
  • Far Cry Instincts: Predator – £4.49
  • Crysis – £4.49
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – £4.49
  • WWE 13 – £13.99
  • Mass Effect – £4.49
  • Prey – £2.69
  • Bulletstorm – £4.49
  • Dragon Age: Origins – £4.49
  • Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga – £14.99

This month will also see a new free game offered by Microsoft in there lead up to the launch of the Xbox One. If you are an Xbox Gold member, you can pick up XBLA tower defence game, Defence Grid: The Awakening for free instead of its normal 800msp price tag, saving yourself £6.80.

The game will be available until July 15 when a different game will be free to download.

Offers will change every day in the sale over the next week so make sure you keep checking back to see what is on offer, you could pick up that game you’ve been wanting for a low, low price.

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: Robert Boyd wants more opportunities for Xbox indie games

Robert Boyd believes Xbox should help their indie market by allowing high rated games to break through to Xbox Live Arcade.

It can be difficult to become a developer for XBLA. Taking inspiration from Steams Greenlight, Robert Boyd of Zeboyd believes Microsoft could do more for indie developers.

In his opinion the Xbox Live Indie Games could be a proving ground for new titles, with the best among them being sent forward to be released on XBLA. Similar to Steams Greenlight community rating system.

Boyd said “I’d like to see XBLIG kind of merge into XBLA”

“Keep Indie Games free to everyone but if you have a really good game, you could submit it to Microsoft for it to be upgraded to an XBLA title. Right now, becoming an XBLA developer is fairly difficult for a small team, so reducing the barrier of entry to XBLA could only help Microsoft, I think.”

If Microsoft take this on board any student who decides to create their own game can be spurred on by the thought that if their game is successful it will reach an even bigger audience. That can only be good for everyone involved.

It can be very hard to stand out in the Indie market. Any developer who makes a good game that is enjoyed by players should be rewarded for it.

Train2Game News: Deadlight team talk game design in developer diary

Get behind the scenes of Deadlight, the upcoming zombie survival puzzler for XBLA in a new developer diary from Spanish studio Tequila Works.

Creative Director Raul Rubio, Narritive Director Antonio Rojano and others discuss creating a story and the game design process for Deadlight while ensuring it wouldn’t be hindered by it as the main character goes through an emotional and physical journey.

Watch ‘The Deadlight Diaries: Creating A Story’ video below, here on The Train2Game Blog.

Deadlight will be released via XBLA during August as part of Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade at a cost of 1200 Microsoft Points.

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 thoughts on the storytelling and game design of Deadlight?

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: Fable Heroes developer diary gives insight into life at Lionhead

Train2Game students can get an insight into life at Guildford based studio Lionhead thanks to a Fable Heroes developer diary. The XBLA game is released on Wednesday 2nd May.

The video explains how Fable Heroes started life as part of Lionhead’s yearly ‘creative day,’ before the project was given the go ahead. The multiplayer XBLA title has been developed by a team of five people. Watch the Fable Heroes developer diary below.

Lionhead Head of Art Paul McLaughlin gave tips on how to be a great games artist earlier this year, you can read his advice here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on Fable Heroes? How positive is it that Lionhead are letting younger developers work on their own projects like this?

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]

A useful video for Train2Game students showing the evolution of an in development indie game

This video should be of interest to Train2Game students, no matter which TIGA Diploma they’re working towards!

Indie studio Discord Games has released a video showing how their upcoming Xbox Live release, 2D multiplayer class based shooter Take Arms, has evolved since the Game Development process began in August 2009.

Watching the sped up video below shows how the Game Developed from just a simple concept with basic shapes, to what it looks like now a few months ahead of release.

An official trailer for Take Arms is scheduled for June.

Train2Game students interested in how another game developed from its early concept should see this post from November last year about LittleBigPlanet.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Take Arms video? Has it given you any insight into how a game goes from concept to full working title? Do you have ambitions to develop an Xbox Live title?

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

[Source: Discord Games via VG247

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.