Train2Game News VRFocus event in London

VRFocus Ltd., the UK-based specialist media outlet focusing on immersive technology has today announced a new event in collaboration with Realities Centre London, to bring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences being shown off at this year’s Gamescom event to London for a special showcase.

The Post Gamescom #XR Review will play host to a number of developers and studios from the UK and showcase their projects; allowing people not able to attend the world’s largest videogame convention this August another chance to get hand-on and find out more about those utilising VR and AR.

Amongst those currently confirmed are Cherry Pop Games with Football Nation VR, Dream Reality Interactive and Rebellion’s physics-based platform title Arca’s Path VR and The Persistence, Firesprite’s roguelike horror for PlayStation VR.

Along with the opportunity to play the videogames on show there will also be a number of speakers and a panel discussing VR and AR’s role at this year’s Gamescom event and the latest in immersive technology news. Led by VRFocus.com Editor and CEO Kevin Joyce and the website’s Video Production Manager Nina Salomons.

“The UK XR community is hugely passionate, and the Realities Centre is keen to enable everyone access to all the latest developments whether or not they have the budget to attend international trade shows. Partnering with VRFocus for the Post Gamescom #XR Review enables Realities Centre further reach into the UK community and to attract the biggest names in XR.” said Thomas Gere, Realities Centre CEO.

“Gamescom is always a highlight in the annual videogames event calendar, and over the years has become one of the biggest showcases for new and exciting hardware and software. Working with UK developers to bring their titles back to UK audiences is exactly the kind of opportunity that VRFocus was always designed to provide.”, added Kevin Joyce, VRFocus CEO and Editor.
The event takes place on Thursday, 6th September 2018, at the Realities Centre at Huckletree West, Mediaworks, White City in London.

Applications for tickets can be made at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vr-gaming-showcase-with-gamescom-review-in-association-with-vrfocus-tickets-45551446603.

Regular tickets are free, and demos and talks will begin at 7PM. Those who purchase a VIP ticket however will be able to gain access to the demos an hour earlier. Please See the Eventbrite listing for further details.

Train2Game News Kingdom Hearts Mobile

With over eight million players worldwide, KINGDOM HEARTS Union χ[Cross] players uncover story elements from the earliest parts of the series’ history, as well as from the highly-anticipated, upcoming KINGDOM HEARTS III.

Players can create their very own Keyblade wielder and adventure through Disney worlds with beautiful and stylized art, while interacting with a rich cast of memorable Disney characters.

Yesterday, Square Enix and Disney introduced a new collaboration event based on the hit Disney•Pixar film, Coco. From yesterday through July 31, 2018, Keyblade wielders can take part in a variety of in-game events, including:

Multiplayer Quests with Special Coco Rewards – Players can earn powerful new Medals featuring Miguel and Héctor by completing multiplayer quests.

Miguel Medals – Players can also obtain Miguel Medals by completing special quests.

“Miguel & Dante” Medals – “Miguel & Dante” Medals can be obtained by purchasing the Weekly Jewels Extravaganza bundle.

More information about the collaboration is available on the @kh_ux_na Twitter page.

This game is available now as a free-to-play app (with in-app purchases) through the App Store® for iPhone® and on Google Play™ for Android® devices.

Train2Game News CopperCube game engine now FREE

CopperCube is the most easy to use 3D game engine and now it’s free to use.

CopperCube is a 3D authoring tool for creating interactive 3D games, apps and websites, without programming developed by Ambiera. It focuses on a user friendly interface which makes it possible create 3D games very easily and Ambiera have now announced the release of CopperCube 6.0.

The just released version 6.0 is a big step forward.

In addition, CopperCube 6 is now free to use. Users can develop games, sell them, publish them on Steam, any App Store, any website, with the free edition.

A major new version of the game engine with new features like post processing effects, new lighting system, WebGL 2 support, FBX import, and much more.

In order to support the development of CopperCube, there are two editions which have a few more features: CopperCube 6 Professional and CopperCube 6 Studio Edition, which can be bought if wished.

The following new features are added in version 6:

– CopperCube now comes as free edition, which includes nearly all of the features previously only available in the professional edition.
– Post-Processing Effects
– Full FBX import with Animation
– New lighting system
– Unified colors and lighting
– DDS support
– WebGL 2 support
– Loading screen image
– Multi Selection
– WebGL automatic pointer lock
– Freeze Scale command
– Better Wireframe mode
– Automatic DirectX installer
– Scene Metrics tool
– Nicer User Interface
– More terrain generation options
– Lots of performance improvements
– Updated Lightmapper
– Improved OpenGL renderer
– Improved WebGL font rendering
– Automatic clip prevention for FPS camera children
– and many more smaller new features.

To learn more visit https://www.ambiera.com/coppercube/

Train2Game News British eSports hits schools and colleges

The British Esports Association has announced details of its first full competitive gaming Championships for schools, colleges and alternative provision schools.

The not-for-profit organisation has entered into a partnership with streaming programme Twitch Student to grow the British Esports Championships and help give students support and opportunities.

In addition, a new partnership has been formed with AoC Sport (part of the Association of Colleges) and the British Esports Association to provide management and oversight of the competition via the College Esportscommittee. This new committee will ensure that esports is properly managed in colleges and is positioned as part of a balanced lifestyle alongside education and physical activity.

The British Esports Championships is for students aged 12-19, with each school or college allowed to enter teams for three different games. The first confirmed game is 5v5 League of Legends.

The Championships will begin on October 10th and run for two seasons, the first consisting of eight weeks of fixtures with breaks for half term and the second running in the New Year. The first six weeks will feature a Swiss tournament format, with Playoffs taking place during the remaining weeks.
Matches will take place for 90 minutes onafternoonsafter school or college, avoiding conflict with Wednesday afternoon sport or classes.

Depending on the number of sign ups, schools and colleges will be split into their respective regions. The top two from each region will get promoted to a Super League for Season 2.

The live finals are set to take place at the Insomnia gaming festival in Easter 2019 at the Birmingham NEC.

Team sign-ups will open in the first week of September and will close on September 26th. Visit the dedicated Championships information coming soon on www.britishesports.org to sign up or read more information.
In terms of partnerships, the British Esports Association will adopt the Twitch Student Program, which helps schools and colleges learn how to stream so that friends, parents and others can watch their matches and other gaming activities live online. It has already been working with a number colleges in the US, universities in the UK and now it’s embracing the UK schools and colleges space.

Twitch Student gives users access to ‘swag’ and privileges as they level up, such as special streaming features, subscription buttons and the chance to earn revenues, Twitch homepage promotions and more. It also helps students pitch their gaming ideas or community projects to teachers and schools.

Mark “Garvey” Candella, Twitch Director of Strategic Partnerships, commented: “The British Esports Association and Twitch Student program share a belief in the ability of students to grasp the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in gaming and esports, while applying their education in new and innovative ways.

“The combination of passion and education can only lead to more opportunities for themselves and this exciting industry. We are proud to work with the British Esports Association on helping students realise their potential through the practical experience this program creates.”

In addition to the support of Twitch, the new College Esports committee will be working with the British Esports Association to promote the Championships to colleges throughout the UK.

AoC Sport says it’s been encouraged by the work of the British Esports Association in drawing parallels between physical sports and esports, engaging with education as well as developing skills in communication, problem solving, teamwork and more.

Marcus Kingwell, Managing Director of AoC Sport, said: “We see esports as a route to engaging inactive students in colleges and encouraging them to engage in physical activity. We’re delighted to be working with the British Esports Association as part of the College Esports committee, ensuring that esports is properly managed in colleges and is part of a balanced lifestyle alongside education and physical activity.”

British Esports chair Andy Payne OBE added: “It’s fantastic to be teaming up with Twitch Student and AoC Sport and to have the backing of organisations well engrained in both gaming and college sports. We look forward to growing the British Esports Championships together.”

The announcement follows a successful pilot which took place in schools and colleges from January to April and saw Solihull School and Sunderland College win the respective Championships. The pilot allowed the British Esports Association to create a safe online environment for students aged 12-19 to play age-appropriate esports. It fostered talent, championed positive role models, promoted leadership, communication, creativity and teamwork skills and its work is supported by multiple government departments.

The pilot brought pupils together, improved relations with teachers, developed employability skills, helped schools raise awareness of their activities and secure funding. It also drew national attention including coverage from the BBC, Sky, Daily Mail and more.

The news also comes after British Esports appointed Natacha Jones as Student Esports Coordinator to develop the British Esports Championships.
Since January, Natacha has held the role of Twitch Student Program Manager at the National University Esports League, tracking the success of a pilot scheme for UK universities.

She will be working closely with schools and colleges as part of the British Esports Championships and helping them integrate with the Twitch Student Program.

If you want to find out more visit www.britishesports.org

Train2Game News Game Dev Heroes award winners

The winners of the inaugural Game Dev Heroes awards have been revealed.

Designed to recognise the talent and hard work of individuals within the game development sector, the Game Dev Heroes are the brainchild of industry veteran Alex Boucher, who also hosted the intimate awards ceremony at Mesmerist, Brighton.

The winners were chosen by a judging panel comprising senior figures from across the industry, namely:

Adam Campbell – Azoomee
Ben Sewell – Launchpad
Caroline Hinds – Creative England
Dana Ramnarine – Rhum
Ed Perkins – Square Enix
Eithne Metcalfe-Bliss – SEGA
Emma Purvey – Outplay
Emma Smith – Creative Assembly
Emma Turner – Outplay Entertainment
Harinder Sangha – SEGA Hardlight
Ian Goodall – Aardvark Swift
Jamie Clarke – Games Jobs Direct
Kish Hirani – Terra Virtual
Lisa Carter – Mimram Media
Marie-Claire Isaaman – Women in Games
Marina Jonsdottir – Wargaming
Nick Dixon – Falmouth Launchpad
Nick Duncombe – Playground Games
Rosemary Buahin – Curve Digital
Simon Iwaniszak – Red Kite Games
Tamsin O’Luanaigh – nDreams
Thad Frogley – Boss Alien
Yvonne Dawes – Frontier Developments

Here we reveal the winners – and some commentary from those who nominated them…

Art & Animation
Anna Hollinrake, Senior Artist, Dream Reality Interactive

“Incredible visual artist and all around good egg. I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

“Again and again, Anna has pushed the limits of visual story telling for her professional and personal work. Working on projects like Lola and the Giant, Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion and newly announced Arca’s Path, Anna always adds her own personal flair and unique taste to everything she touches.”

“Anna not only has large strength in her work but she also is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and creating healthy work spaces in games.”

Design
Meg Jayanth, Freelance Writer & Narrative Designer

“Meg has helped to completely change the way people view narrative design, opening up a whole new understanding of what can be achieved through great writing in games.”

“Meg is the award-winning lead writer for 80 Days, a game with writing so good it made a Telegraph list of best novels. With projects including Sunless Sea and the highly anticipated Sable, Meg is inspiring a whole generation of writers and narrative designers, showing what can be achievable in games.”

“Meg’s work has had a significant impact in writing for games & has been influential in paving the way for a new wave of great narrative-based games.”

QA
Lesleyann White, Quality Analyst & Support, Failbetter Games

“She’s the definition of hero… She deserves all the recognition in the world for doing her job so well you’d think we have no bugs or problems at all! Hero, hero, hero!!”

“As Failbetter’s first dedicated in-house QA person, Lesleyann immediately created a space for herself and her work that brought an amazing level of thoroughness and quality, streamlining the production structure and creating more effective new processes wherever problems are found.

“Described as a fantastic colleague and an incredibly caring and considerate individual, she’s always ready to do the extra bit to make coming to work a complete joy, inspiring colleagues to keep working to make this industry a welcoming place. Lesleyann has even stepped up with her organisational and team building skills, reviving the studio’s game night and becoming famous for her game-themed fruit platter creations!”

Sound
Sam Hughes, Founder The Sound Architect & Intern at Remedy Entertainment

“Sam [and the team] have massively helped to raise the profile and understanding of games audio in recent years. Sam’s a great ambassador and his work is genuinely appreciated.”

“Sam doesn’t need a great deal of introduction to anyone involved in audio, with his work behind The Sound Architect blog and podcast series already being very familiar across the game audio world. He puts a huge amount of time and effort into his work and is always looking to create more inclusive space for people marginalised by the industry.”

“Sam will often attend events and set up interviews on his own time and funding, all while studying for a PhD at York University and now also working as an intern sound designer at Remedy in Finland.”

Production
Jessica Gaskell, Producer, Sumo Digital

“Her professionalism and attitude towards work inspire me to do my best every day and I can honestly say she is the best boss I have ever had.”

“Although Jess isn’t responsible for creating any of the content that goes into the game or the direction, she’s pivotal in ensuring that all the component pieces get done and come together as a whole. She has in-depth knowledge of her projects, all the component parts, the associated roles and how everything interacts.”

“With an unparalleled work ethic and a sense of selflessness, Jess is described as a catalyst for success, a production powerhouse, and long overdue for the recognition she deserves.”

“On top of that she is a key person in fostering the team’s friendly culture, recognising the value of individuals in their skills but also as people, and her respect towards mental health and health related issue are a breath of fresh air.”

Programming
John Campbell, Technical Director, Triangular Pixels

“[John] is incredible… He is by far the best games developer I have ever worked with and I’m so proud of him.”

“John is always busy behind the scenes creating excellent gameplay that whole studios get the credit for, but John just wants to create games people will love and enjoy. He always wants to make everyone else’s lives better by spending that extra effort to not only make players experience better – but also that of his coworkers with the tools and systems he came up with.”

“He is always helping other developers out on online groups, always sharing his knowledge, and isn’t afraid to be technical in his developer talks. He is always researching new methods and techniques which he could adapt to games development, and thinking out of the box to make some really innovative solutions.”

Marketing & Community
Haley Uyrus, Marketing Manager, Failbetter Games

“Haley works non-stop to create amazing marketing campaigns for Failbetter’s games, been part of the 30under30, and is an all round lovely person who makes anyone feel welcome in the industry.

“I saw Haley do a talk about her marketing for Failbetter Games at Develop Conference last year and how she gives all her marketing and community a distinct voice to fit with the world of their games. Seeing this in action through their highly successful Kickstarter [campaign] made me reach out to her and I found her to be very open and helpful, giving me pointers on how to maximise the marketing for my own game on a limited budget. She is exactly the sort of person the games industry should be holding up as an example.”

“Haley was a key figure in designing the Kickstarter for Sunless Skies, a Kickstarter which reached its £100,000 goal in four hours and went on to raise £360,000 in total. She also stepped up to the plate when the company Marketing Director was absent for maternity leave, keeping the community updated regarding the progress of Sunless Skies, as well as the Fallen London reworks that happened during the same time – it was series of major updates and overhauls to the seven year running browser game, and she ensured all updates were well-communicated (and well-hyped!) to the playerbase.”

Management
Thad Frogley, Technical Director, Boss Alien

“Thad’s contribution to the culture of his studio, the industry’s outreach towards young people of all backgrounds, and the careers of all those who’ve had the pleasure of working with him can’t be overstated.”

“Thad’s management style, focused on mentorship and empowerment, gives everyone on his team a fantastic start in the industry.”

“Thad fights hard to ensure talented graduates or interns that may have struggled to find a personality fit at other studios are given a chance to thrive on his team. Colleagues from previous studios across his career now have whole careers of their own founded on Thad’s belief in their potential, going on to become invaluable team members as a result of Thad’s mentorship.”

Unsung Hero
Bill Donegan, Project Manager, SpecialEffect

“[Bill] is a true unsung hero… whose work has transformed the lives of disabled gamers from all over the world through his R&D work at SpecialEffect.”

“Bill’s imagination, creativity and drive have been at the heart of SpecialEffect’s technical achievements ever since the charity began in 2007. As well as playing a crucial role in the team’s success in creating access solutions for hundreds of severely disabled individuals in the U.K., he has also helped create solutions that have had a global impact, too.”

“He was Project Lead in creating SpecialEffect’s open-source ‘EyeMine’ software, a gaze-controlled interface to Minecraft launched earlier this year. Bill also played a key role in the success of recently launched and globally acclaimed XBox Adaptive Controller, co-ordinating SpecialEffect’s contribution, alongside that of other charity partners, to both its design and development.”

Diversity Champion
Helen Andrzejowska, Director, Ocean Spark Studios

“Helen constantly goes above and beyond to inspire and enthuse girls to consider a career in games.”

“Helen founded Ocean Spark Studios with the aim of increasing the amount of women working within the industry, as she truly believes a balanced workforce is a better workforce. Although the studio is only small, she constantly perseveres to try and make a difference with educational & informative visits across schools & colleges.”

“Helen (and co-director Ellie Brown) regularly host workshops to introduce more girls & young people to games as a career, inspiring them to join a creative and wonderful industry, while also advocating the merits of student startup and indie studios.”

Outstanding Contribution
Mike Simpson, Creative Director, Creative Assembly

“For the last 17 years Mike has been the creative force behind Total War, now the most successful PC games franchise of all time, helping to take Creative Assembly from five to 500 employees as it grew from indie developer to publisher-owned super-studio. Mike has a vast knowledge of the industry, which he uses to support BAFTA, sitting on their Committee.”

Alex Boucher, organiser of the Game Dev Heroes awards said: “A huge congratulations to all the winners and, indeed, the finalists. We’re delighted with how the Game Dev Heroes awards have been received and look forward to taking the event forward in 2019 and beyond.

“And, of course, a big thank you to our sponsors Aardvark Swift, Games Jobs Direct, Square Enix, Launchpad, Mimram Media and Analog.”

To find out more about the Game Dev Heroes Awards, contact Alex@GameDevHeroes.co or visit http://www.gamedevheroes.co

Train2Game News Jetpack Joyride Boardgame

Indie developers Halfbrick and Lucky Duck Games have partnered up to bring you nothing less than Jetpack Joyride, the world’s first-ever tabletop runner game.

Join Barry, a struggling salesman, on his mission to break into a secret laboratory seeking experimental jetpacks!

Based on the mobile game of the same name, Jetpack Joyride has taken off on Kickstarter with an excellent selection of pledges and rewards seeking funds to secure its completion.

Game trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02jVAAwo9Ps

Jetpack Joyride is a real-time competitive puzzle game, in which you must go airborne and traverse a secret lab using a stolen jetpack. The tabletop adaption is played over a series of three rounds, with a playtime of about 20 minutes, supporting up to four players.

Jetpack Joyride is played by assigning 4 laboratory cards to each player. In real-time, tiles must be grabbed from the common pool and laid down to trace their choice of path through the lab. Grab as many coins as you can and the first player out triggers the end of the round. Gadgets are then drafted from the player with the lowest score to the highest one. The Kickstarter page offers some great tutorial videos and even a complete rulebook for download.

Jetpack Joyride comes with the following components:

  • 50 pentomino tiles
  • 12 gadget cards
  • 12 mission cards
  • 16 double-sided lab cards
  • Scorepad notebook & rulebook

Jetpack Joyride the tabletop game is a wonderful way to bring your video game experience to the table and share among your family and friends. While there is no timer-based play, you will still need to be fast and efficient to be the first player out of the lab, while maximizing your strategy to attain the most points.

Kickstarter Page: https://goo.gl/zy9omS

Train2Game News Writing for video games event

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and London Writers’ Week have announced a writing for video games panel event, which will take place as part of this year’s London Writers’ Week and which will provide access to advice from some of the UK’s leading video games writers.

Taking place on Friday 20th July at 12 – 1pm, the event will be chaired by Writers’ Guild of Great Britain video game committee member David Varela, whose credits include writing the mobile adventure Sherlock: The Network, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, script consultancy on the chart-topping mobile game Zombies, Run! (which was nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award), and writing the murder mystery game The Trace and who is currently narrative designer on an undisclosed project at Criterion Games.

Speakers for the panel event will also include Olivia Wood, who was recently selected by BAFTA as a 2017 Breakthrough Brit, and Rhianna Pratchett, who is an award-winning writer for games, comics, film, TV and short stories whose work has received awards from the WGA, the WGGB, DICE, SXSW, and a BAFTA nomination. Rhianna has written for DC, Dark Horse and Dynamite (notably writing an origin story for Red Sonja’s chain-mail bikini) and is currently working on film and TV projects with the Jim Henson Company, Film4, Big Talk and O3 Productions.

The final panelist will be Andrew S. Walsh who is an award-winning writer/director with credits across film, television, theatre, radio, animation and videogames. To date he has worked on videogames such as The Division 2, Prince of Persia, Lego City: Undercover, Risen, Harry Potter, Fable Legends and Need for Speed. His film work includes the English version of Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, while his time in television includes BBC’s Raven, Emmerdale, Byker Grove, Risk, and Family Affairs. His theatre work includes Wind in the Willows which is touring South London this summer.

Jennifer Tuckett, Director of London Writers Week said: “We are delighted to be able to include this excellent event from The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s video game committee in this year’s London Writers’ Week. Writing for video games is an important opportunity for writers to know about and, as part of London Writers’ Week’s aim to provide access to and showcase the best new ideas going on in new writing in the UK each year, this year in terms of film, we are delighted to be able to provide access to advice from some of the writers leading the way in terms of writing for video games, in partnership with The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s video games committee”.

The event continues the relationship between The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and London Writers’ Week, and The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain has been a supporter of London Writers’ Week since its creation four years ago.

This year’s London Writers’ Week is also donating 100% of all profits to organisations promoting diversity in the arts. The organisations which will be supported by this year’s London Writers’ Week are The Diversity School Initiative, which campaigns for greater diversity in drama schools and whose board members include Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, Actor Awareness, which campaigns for working class actors and writers and who recently made “The Acting Class” documentary with Maxine Peake, Christopher Eccleston and others, the London Playwrights Blog, an invaluable resource providing access to opportunities and advice, and University Women in the Arts, which aims to improve the transition from women studying the arts to working in the arts.

For more information and to book tickets please go to: www.londonwritersweek.com

Train2Game News Old School RuneScape Mobile Beta

Access to Old School RuneScape Mobile’s new members’ beta is being made available to every single Old School RuneScape or RuneScape subscriber, as part of a staggered rollout.

Following a limited test rollout yesterday, with the cap reached in just two hours, the members’ beta is today being opened up to enable a further 250,000 subscribers gain access.

Over the coming weeks, access will be scaled up to give every subscribed player the opportunity to continue their Old School RuneScape journey on Android devices while sat at home on the sofa, during the commute, in the canteen, and even in flight, leaving no excuse for XP waste.

On launch later this year, Old School RuneScape Mobile will become the first mainstream Western online RPG to deliver the complete MMO experience across both mobile and PC platforms, enabling players to seamlessly jump between devices and continue their adventure on either platform.

Conor Crowley, Director of Game Development, Jagex said:
“Since announcing our plans to bring both RuneScape games to mobile, the community has been clamouring to get their hands on the titles. Old School RuneScape Mobile has been running 24/7 in invite-only closed beta for the past couple of months, and, with development progressing really well, we wanted to share this progress with the most important people: our members. That begins now and, soon, every Old School and RuneScape subscriber will have access to Old School mobile – the next stage of bringing two of the world’s most popular online RPGs to the world’s most popular gaming platforms”

Since it first launched in February 2013 with the backing of 450,000 members of the RuneScape community, Old School RuneScape’s success has continued to grow, delivering new lands and new adventures that take it far beyond a purely nostalgic vanilla experience. One of Jagex’s flagship living games, Old School features player-polled content including the recently released raid, Theatre of Blood, the Deadman Invitational competitive game mode, and continues to be at the vanguard of collaboration between developers and its community.

While Old School RuneScape Mobile is becoming accessible to all members over the next month, RuneScape Mobile’s closed beta is currently invite-only.

Train2Game News Funding for your game

Global Top Round’s 2018 accelerator program is now accepting applications from independent video game studios around the world, with successful parties potentially receiving up to $300,000 USD of funding.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, GTR is an interactive accelerator program dedicated to supporting small studios, comprised of around one to ten staff members, from all over the world with the development, publishing, and fundraising expertise they need to take their games global and make their businesses sustainable.

The application period for the 2018 program is open from July 1 until August 19, with submissions to be made via the Global Top Round website. All submitting studios must have a playable game/demo build developed, with intentions to launch by mid-2019, and relevant assets prepared. Games that are already fully launched are not eligible.

A total of 20 games, from 20 studios, will be selected from the applicants and invited to attend the GTR 2018 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 27-28 (for which travel and accommodation expenses of up to $2,000 USD will be covered). The event offers attendees two days of networking and showcasing, and it is held in conjunction with the Level Up KL Game Conference, the largest gaming conference in Southeast Asia.

At the GTR 2018 Conference, the 20 studios/games will be assessed by GTR’s core team and participants, with input from attending professionals including the event’s speakers, and a final 10 will move forward into the accelerator program. These 10 studios will be eligible to receive $40,000 USD in direct investments, guidance and exposure after a series of due diligence processes.

A few selected projects, deemed to be of considerable promise, will further benefit by receiving additional direct investments of up to $300,000 USD total from GTR. There is no set limit to the number of studios that could receive this investment, as GTR seeks projects of substantial potential, and talented teams and individuals to believe in. Initial investment and support of projects is provided in exchange for a percentage of studio equity not surpassing 5% and a small portion of the project revenue.

Games to have previously benefited from GTR’s program and its support since 2015 include Relic Hunters Legend by Brazilian studio Rogue Snail, Earth Atlantis by Thailand’s Pixel Perfex, UK team Dream Harvest’s Neuroslicers, and Woodpunk by Spain’s Meteorbyte Studios. These games, and many more to have been through GTR’s accelerator program, have enjoyed several award wins and nominations, and generous media attention.

“We put our greatest efforts into identifying talent and building trust with the studios,” says Global Top Round CEO, Danny Woo. “We’re prepared to go the extra mile once we’ve found the right team.”

“We have an impressive mix of both Western and Eastern publishers keen to review our games,” says Rick Nahm, GTR’s COO. “They take us seriously because we’ve proven of what we can offer, and we try to work very closely with them.”

For further information about Global Top Round, please visit the program’s official website.

Train2Game News A new market for you to sell your games

Two entrepreneurs who are creating a new marketplace for online gamers have secured a £200,000 investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

The funding will allow Alex Booth and Nick Gillett to bring their idea to market. Player Lands, which will be based in Nottingham, will allow gamers with no previous experience of e-commerce to open online stores and sell the content they create or find while playing.

The system will tap into the growing global market for in-game downloads and aims to become the leading e-commerce platform of its type.

Alex, a serial entrepreneur who also has a yacht and private jet hire business, came up with the idea after working as a consultant in the gaming industry. He joined forces with Nick, an angel investor and founder of London-based digital agency C360 which he sold in 2006. They set up Transaction Technologies in 2016 to pursue the idea.

Player Lands will offer customers a secure and straightforward way to buy content for their favourite games. It will give shopkeepers their own customisable store, together with tools to manage inventory, market their products and run promotions, while also providing detailed reporting to help them increase sales. The platform will be secure, easy-to-use and provide a safe environment for children as well as more seasoned players. It will use blockchain technology to create a completely transparent public ledger for each item traded.

Alex Booth, CEO of Transaction Technologies, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be involved with the games industry, which despite its enormous size is still growing fast. We want to give gamers the opportunity to capitalise on their hard work in-game, letting them trade the items they’ve found or won for real cash. The investment from Mercia is going to help us bring the idea to market quickly and with the technical excellence this market demands.”

Dr Sandy Reid, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said:
“The worldwide market for downloadable in-game content is growing rapidly and already dwarfs the income from pay-to-play games. However, it is served by mostly low-level e-commerce providers and content creators are struggling to find platforms that offer the professionalism and service that they need. The funding will enable Alex and Nick to put their idea into practice and fill this gap in the market. We feel there is a real opportunity for Player Lands to become the leading platform of its type in the coming years.”

Lewis Stringer, MEIF Senior Relationship Manager at the British Business Bank, commented:
“The innovative nature of Transaction Technologies is testament to the thriving creative and digital content sector across the Midlands. It’s great to see finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund being deployed in such exciting, early-stage technologies, and we look forward to Alex and Nick making a success of this forward-thinking concept.”

Lindsay Wetton, Senior Programme Manager for Business Engagement at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Creative and digital businesses, such as Transaction Technologies, form an integral part of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire economy. With help from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and its Growth Hub is working to ensure that businesses across its area are given the support that they need to grow, succeed and flourish.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.