LittleBigPlanet 2 delayed until next year

LittleBigPlanet 2LittleBigPlanet 2 has been delayed until January 2011, developer Media Molecule have confirmed on their website. In post titled ‘Important news regarding the release date of LittleBigPlanet 2’ the Guildford based games designers say they are ‘truly sorry’

“LittleBigPlanet 2 is a crazy dream, a dream to allow players to make whatever kind of game they want, but also to play though a great adventure of drama and excitement, power-ups, and cinematics. But like all of the most ambitious ideas, it can be a considerable challenge to turn these dreams in fun games. We’ve all been working like powered-up space ninjas and we’re almost there, but because we love what we’ve made, and we love our little sack-friends, and most of all we love all our fans out there, we couldn’t let you all get together until we knew we were giving you the best experience imaginable.

Which is why we’ve taken the hard decision to delay the worldwide release of LittleBigPlanet 2, originally slated for later this year to January 2011.

We know this will come as disappointing news for all you LittleBigPlanet fans, and believe us, we are disappointed too. We are a tight-knit team and we take enormous pride in our work, so to raise the bar we’ve set with the original LittleBigPlanet, a game that has been so embraced by all, we’ve agreed to allow ourselves a bit more time to deliver the experience that our great fans and community deserve. We are truly sorry, but hope you understand that we have to build the best possible game, as it is the foundation of our community.

On the upside, we are going to find a way to give more of you a taste of LittleBigPlanet 2 prior to launch, so stay tuned.

Thanks for your continued love and support, it won’t be long – we promise.”

The news comes very shortly after LittleBigPlanet 2 community beta videos started appearing on the web, with players’ creative designs including a Street Fighter level and a LittleBigPlanet 2 first person shooter.

There is however some good news, which is that you don’t necessarily have to wait until January to get your hands on LittleBigPlanet 2.  Media Molecule demonstrating a playable version of LittleBigPlanet 2 at Eurogamer between October 1st and October 3rd.

Train2Game are also going to be at Eurogamer, and will be giving away the new PlayStation Move controller with a PlayStation 3 320GB slim at Eurogamer 2010.

To enter the prize draw pick up a entry form at Stand 12 in the Career fair. We look forward to seeing you there.

What are your thoughts on the delay of LittleBigPlanet 2? Has anyone pre-ordered it?

You can leave your thoughts about LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Fallout: New Vegas senior designer gives advice on breaking into the games industry

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is released October 22

Fallout: New Vegas is probably one of the most anticipated games of the year, and naturally many of us are excited about the game from Obsidian. Chris Avellone is a Senior Designer working on Fallout: New Vegas, and he recently spoke to Planet Fallout about the latest instalment of the post-apocalyptic RPG which is released next month.

Naturally, we’re all very interested in Fallout: New Vegas, but Chris Avellone starts the interview talking about how he got into the games industry. Train2Game students feast your eyes on what he says below, because it could be very useful to your future career!

“I got into the industry through pen-and-paper gaming, notably Champions, where Bruce Harlick gave me my first shot at doing a published product. Writing for pen and paper games doesn’t really pay the bills, though, and the pay scale ended up being about 50 dollars every two months, which you can’t live on.

Then I heard a company called Interplay Productions were starting up their own Dungeons and Dragons division, and they asked if I wanted to come on board as a junior designer. My first reaction was, “you mean there’s a steady pay check for what I do?”, so I said sure, I’ll drive to California.

I met with the division director of Dragonplay (Mark O’ Green), he asked if I had any ideas for a Planescape RPG, I told him I’d start in the mortuary after the player died and the game would go from there. He hired me. Ever since, I’ve been working in design all the way up, out of Interplay and into my current job at Obsidian.

Advice for getting into the industry? That’s a long one, but here goes: One, always be persistent in applying – even if you get rejected from one game company once. Keep applying; get to know the people there. Generally what happens at game companies is they find themselves in crunch or badly needing employees at a certain time and then they will go back to the resumes and look for someone urgently. Those battlefield promotions can get you into the industry pretty fast. Also when applying at a game company, always choose the game company that you actually want to work for.

I know some people think “I need to start in a crap designer job” or making My Little Pony or whatever before I can get into the job I really want to do. My recommendation is apply to the places you want to work at first don’t worry about the consequences or requirements. A good cover letter and a good resume can sell an applicant who thinks they may not meet all the requirements.

When hiring at Obsidian, we look for people that did a lot of game building on their off duty time, if they’re members of mod communities, or have actually gone through the process of making a game – they’re able to answer questions and understand how the whole process works, more so than applicants that are more geared towards theory. It’s one of the reasons we hired Jorge Salgado (Oscuro’s Oblivion mod fame), and we’re glad we did.”

Of course, Avellone goes into plenty of detail about Fallout: New Vegas, and if you’re interested you can read about it over at Planet Fallout. Alternatively, you can watch the first part of the Fallout: New  Vegas developer diaries. Fallout: New Vegas is released in Europe on October 22nd for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Can’t wait that long to get your hands on Fallout: New Vegas? A playable version will be available at the Eurogamer expo from October 1st and 3rd.

Train2Game will also be at Eurogamer, and will be giving away the new PlayStation Move controller with a PlayStation 3 320GB slim. To enter the prize draw pick up a entry form at Stand 12 in the Career fair. We look forward to seeing you there.

What are your thoughts about the advice from the Fallout: New Vegas senior designer? Do you find it helpful? And what feature about Fallout: New Vegas are you looking forward to the most?

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

LittleBigPlanet 2 beta videos arrive online, can Train2Game students produce better?

The beta testing period of LittleBigPlanet 2 is in full swing, which means videos of what the lucky community members have been up to are starting to appear online. These videos show that the LittleBigPlanet 2 community has already been extremely creative and cements the idea that LittleBigPlanet 2 could be the Train2Game students dream ticket.

In this video, a LittleBigPlanet 2 beta tester has created a beat up, based around Guile’s Street Fighter II stage. The level includes the plane and a crowd of on looks that not only perform their own actions, but can also be unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of attacks from Sackboy versions of Guile, Ken and Zangeif.


Another LittleBigPlanet 2 beta video that shows just how flexible the creation tools in the game can be is ‘Vietnam: First Person Shooter’ So this LittleBigPlanet 2 custom level doesn’t have the constant threat of death that you’d find in a Call of Duty: Black Ops’ or Medal of Honor, but it does look like a lot of fun. You have to admire the detail that’s gone into creating a LittleBigPlanet 2 played from a first person perspective; you can even see stitches in Sackboys hand!

LittleBigPlanet 2 is scheduled for release in the United States on November 16th, so hopefully we’ll have it in Europe at around the same time. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to wait until mid-November to get your hands on LittleBigPlanet 2.  Media Molecule demonstrating a playable version of LittleBigPlanet 2 at Eurogamer between October 1st and October 3rd.

Train2Game are also going to be at Eurogamer, and will be giving away the new PlayStation Move controller with a PlayStation 3 320GB slim at Eurogamer 2010.

To enter the prize draw pick up a entry form at Stand 12 in the Career fair. We look forward to seeing you there.

So, what are your thoughts about the new LittleBigPlanet 2 videos? Do you think you’ll be using the creation tools to make your own levels and games? If so, what plans do you have?

You can leave your thoughts about LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Codemasters ship 2 million copies of F1 2010 and release launch trailer

Codemasters has shipped two million copies of F1 2010 worldwide ahead of the Formula 1 racers much anticipated release this week.  F1 2010 represents Codemasters biggest release to date and is available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and on the PC.

F1 2010 features all of the official drivers, cars and circuits from this years Formula 1 World Championship, which has arguably one of the most exciting in the history of the sport. Fans will have the chance to compete for the Formula 1 World Championship themselves in F1 2010’s career mode.

Races in F1 2010 include features including dynamic weather systems, night racing and fully motion captured crew to perform your pit stops.

To celebrate the release of F1 2010, Chief Designer Stephen Hood has made a huge post about its development on the Codemasters forum, which could be of particular interest to Train2Game students.

Codemasters have also released a fantastic looking F1 2010 launch trailer with demonstrates that F1 2010 hasn’t received very positive review scores for nothing.


F1 2010 is released in the UK on Friday. I have my copy pre-ordered.  Do you?

If you’re yet to be convinced by F1 2010, you’ll be able see it for yourself at the Eurogamer Expo in just ten days time.  Codemasters are just one of many developers attending Eurogamer in just under two weeks, and Train2Game will have a stand at Earls Court too!

Train2Game will be giving away the new Playstation Move controller with a Playstation 3 320GB slim at Eurogamer 2010. To enter the prize draw pick up a entry form at Stand 12 in the Career fair. We look forward to seeing you there.

You can leave your thoughts on F1 2010, or indeed Eurogamer, here or on the Train2Game forum.

Call of Duty ‘premium service’ and insulting indie devs. Activision alienate people…again

Call of Duty Black OpsYou wouldn’t want to be working in Activision’s PR department right now would you? It seems like every time CEO Bobby Kotick – or anyone else at the top of the company – opens their mouth they agitate gamers.

Last week, Bobby Kotick suggested that audiences would like to pay in order to watch CGI game cinematics. This wasn’t well received by gaming forum users anywhere on the internet. On the plus side, the Activision CEO calmed previous, self caused, fears last week by stating there are no plans to make Call of Duty: Black Ops, or any future Call of Duty games, a subscription based service.

So that’s the end of any discussion about any extra charges for a Call of Duty game, right?

Wrong!

Activision has revealed that that a ‘premium’ Call of Duty service is in the pipeline. The plans were revealed by Activision COO Thomas Tippl at the Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. Technology Conference, report CVG. Tippl says Activision want to offer “more choice” as the company looks to “extend revenue models”

“I don’t think there’s a one size fits all…. There’s no doubt that we are looking to extend recurring revenue models and in many ways we have already accomplished that – even on Call Of Duty, although it takes a different form than subscription” He said.

“Every year we have a great game, so every year we have recurring revenues that has a lot of zeros attached to it. We are expanding revenue during the in-between periods with additional content we’ve sold very successfully with map packs.”

“As we look into the future, there are new and innovative service offerings that could give players more choice. What we’re not going to do is take anything away from players that they used to get today for the price they get it for today. I don’t think that would be a good and smart business decision.

“But I think we have a lot in our pipeline that we believe will provide great value for our players. So I think there’s continued opportunity to expand the player base and to provide them with service offerings and products that can also enhance revenue growth.”

If you’re not familiar with business speak, this basically translates to “we want to add to what you get, but you’ll have to pay for it” Of course, Activision have experimented with ‘additional services’ with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 downloadable Stimulus and Resurgence packs, which despite costing over £10  each sold rather well. Bobby Kotick echoed Tippl’s remarks, more or less cementing the plans in the process:

“As long as we keep providing value – whether it’s in services, or new content or things like virtual items… There’s so much we can do to provide value to our customers,” he said.

“They’re willing to pay us for it and I think giving multiple entry points to consumers to figure out how to exactly play the game is something that’s really important to building our audiences.”

Bobby KotickUnfortunately, these aren’t the only remarks from Bobby Kotick that are extremely likely to annoy people. The Activision CEO has extraordinarily claimed that Bungie are “the last remaining high quality independent developer in the world” Yes, Kotick went there.

Who knows what excellent independent developers including the likes of Valve, Gearbox, Rebellion, Ninja Theory, Epic, Level 5, Insomniac think about think about Kotick’s comments, but gamers themselves are outraged and saddened by what he’s said.

Bobby Kotick’s comments  about Bungie compared to other developers in full are as follows:

“Bungie are a very unusual company, they’re probably the last remaining high quality independent developer. It’s very hard to [pauses]… that has sort of has institutional skills and capabilities. And they’re a real company.”

“When they started the process of looking for a new partner, they’d been in business with Microsoft. They had a vision for a product they wanted to create that needed certain skills and capabilities – that Microsoft had some of.”

“But as they started to go and look at the obvious candidates, they realised that no company other than Activision had the skills that they needed to be successful for the vision of that product. These are things that you never would have envisioned five years ago.”

“Blizzard had 2,500 people in customer service and support just for World Of Warcraft. How you train them, how you manage them, how you organise them… how you use CRM tools in delighting and satisfying the expectations of your audiences.. It’s something no other company [Bungie] talked to [could offer].”

So Train2Game, what do you think about Activisions latest plans for charging for Call of Duty? Good business sense or money grabbing greed? And do Kotick’s comments about independent developers show that he and Activision are completely out of touch with the rest of the games industry?

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

Red Dead Redemption Liars and Cheats DLC details

Red Dead Redemption Liars and CheatsRockstar has revealed more information about the new Red Dead Redemption ‘Liars and Cheats’ DLC pack ahead of its release on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live tomorrow.

Liars and Cheats, the penultimate DLC pack for Red Dead Redemption offers something that Rockstar stay is the most fan requested multiplayer feature, Multiplayer horse racing.

The races will support up to eight players in a tournament that consists of three to five races, with players earning points for the position they finish and deciding their final ranking when the cup is over.

Unlike horse racing in Red Dead Redemption’s single player campaign, the multiplayer horse racing introduced in Liars and Cheats lets you shoot at your opponents, but not until after designated brief period of calm at the start of reach race.

However, in order not to make things too easy, and to allow players to actually race, there’s no auto-aim and a limited supply of weapons say Rockstar. If you are killed during a race, you simply re-spawn with a time penalty.  You can see full details about the Multiplayer horse racing set for introduction in Red Dead Redemption: Liars and Cheats here.

Other features set to be introduced in the Red Dead Redemption Cheats and Liars DLC include multiplayer poker and liars dice games, new hang hideouts, new hunting grounds and a new attack and defence game mode, Stronghold. The DLC will also allow players to choose multiplayer skins of a variety of characters from the Red Dead Redemption single player campaign and introduces new achievements.

The Red Dead Redemption Liars and Cheats DLC pack is released on September 21st at a cost of 800 points on Xbox Live, or £7.99 on the PlayStation Network.

Red Dead Redemption is one of the most successful games released this year, and still features in the top ten of the UK chart, despite being released all the way back in May.

So Train2Game, are you still playing Red Dead Redemption at all? If so, would you be tempted to part with your money for new multiplayer content? Or do you think Rockstar are going a bit far and charging too much for the Liars and Cheats expansion pack?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

UK Chart: Halo: Reach is Number 1 – No one is suprised.

Halo: ReachHalo: Reach has inevitably claimed the top spot in the GfK Chart-Track All Formats chart following a hugely successful first week on sale. Halo: Reach has given Microsoft their biggest ever launch week and the fifth biggest ever game launch in the UK.

Over 300,000 copies of the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo: Reach were sold in the Microsoft title’s debut week. The only games to have more successful launches in the UK are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PlayStation 2, and Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360. A combination of impressive review scores and heavy marketing has therefore paid off for Microsoft and Halo: Reach.

It’s another new entry at Number two with PlayStation Move title Sports Champions claiming the position after the motion controllers release last Friday.

The combined success of Halo: Reach and PlayStation Move Sports Champions has bumped 2K’s Mafia II down to third. The mob shooter had previously been top of the pile for three weeks following its release towards the end of August.

Toy Story 3 is once again a non-mover, remaining in fourth for the third week in a row, while Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands jumps four places up to fifth.  Prince of Persia has overtaken a fellow Ubisoft title on its way up the chart, passing Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X 2 which drops from second to sixth.

Meanwhile, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days drops four places to seventh, Just Dance re-enters the top ten in eighth, while PlayStation Move support helps Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 climb from 17th to ninth. Red Dead Redemption is a non-mover, remaining just inside the top ten in tenth spot.

R.U.S.E and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions both drop out of the top ten following their debuts.

The full the GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the the week ending September 18th 2010 is as follows:
1. Halo Reach (Microsoft)
2. Sports Champions (Sony)
3. Mafia II (2K Games)
4. Toy Story 3 (Disney)
5. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Ubisoft)
6. HAWX 2 (Ubisoft)
7. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (Square Enix)
8. Just Dance (Ubisoft)
9. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (EA)
10. Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar)

So Train2Game, no one is surprised that Halo: Reach has dominated the chart right? Will it remain at Number 1 for the foreseeable future? Or do you think one of this weeks big new releases – Dead Rising 2, Formula 1 2010, or Civilization V – will mount a significant challenge to Halo: Reach?

You can leave your thoughts on the UK chart or Halo: Reach here on the new look Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

A Fallout: New Vegas developer diary

The first in a series of Fallout: New Vegas developer diaries has been released. The video gives insights into both the story of Fallout: New Vegas and the concepts behind the game’s early development.

In this Fallout: New Vegas developer diary, you’ll find out why Bethesda chose Las Vegas as the main back drop of the story, and the Games Designers explain a little about the inspiration behind the decision.

They also reveal a bit about the introduction to the story of Fallout: New Vegas and how your decisions will shape the outcome of the game. You can see the full video below.


Fallout: New Vegas is released on October 22nd 2010.

So Train2Game, what do you think of the Fallout: New Vegas developer diary? Were you a fan of Fallout 3? Will you be buying Fallout: New Vegas?

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

PlayStation Move is out! But where can you get it cheapest?

PlayStation MoveThe PlayStation Move is available to buy here in the UK!  Some of you have already told us using the Train2Game Twitter account that you’ve already got your PlayStation Move. No doubt some of you who do want the PlayStation Move didn’t pre-order because you cunningly foresaw that retailers would be trying to undercut each other.

The good news for you – if not for Sony and PlayStation Move is that  they have, so we at Train2Game are going to give you a rundown of the cheapest places to get yourself a PlayStation Move pack.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, supermarket giant Tesco are undercutting the rest of the market selling the PlayStation Move starter pack for just £39.70.

Other retailers selling the PlayStation Move at a reasonably low price are Simply Games who are selling the PlayStation Move starter pack for £41.85, and ShopTo selling it at £42.85.  The Game Collection have the PlayStation Move starter pack for sale at £43.99

The big games retailers, Game and GameStation, both price PlayStation Move at £44.99.

Of course, you could always purchase PlayStation Move from your local independent game shop and get a warm fuzzy feeling inside for helping an independent retailer.

Not convinced by PlayStation Move? Well, you’re not the only one, but perhaps this Kevin Butler advert will help you make a decision.

So Train2Game, if you pre-ordered PlayStation Move, have you tried it out yet? If so what are your initial impressions? Id you’re a PlayStation owner, will you be buying Move in the near future? Or are you going to wait and see how things go?

You can leave your thoughts on PlayStation Move here on the Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Halo: Reach makes $200 million worldwide in first day

Halo ReachHalo: Reach has become the most successful entertainment launch of the year, according to Microsoft. The company say that the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo: Reach made $200 million in just its first day on sale.

The launch of Halo: Reach on September 13th saw fans worldwide queuing up at midnight launches to be among the first to get their hands on a copy of the game.

Microsoft say that the launch of Halo: Reach eclipsed the whole three-day opening weekends this years biggest films including Toy Story 3 and Iron Man 2.

Meanwhile, Chart Track have released figures that show Halo: Reach sold 330,000 copies here in the UK during its first day on sale. That already makes Halo: Reach number ten in the list of all-time best-ever weekly sales for an individual title in the UK, and of course there’s still six more days to add to the stats.

Of course, Microsoft will have expected Halo: Reach to be a massive success, giving the popularity of the Xbox 360 exclusive series, and the sheer amount of marketing behind it.

Whatever the reason behind the success of Halo: Reach, it’s good news for the games industry which has seen the market slump to pre-Nintendo Wii levels.

UKIE Director General Michael Rawlinson has therefore praised the Halo: Reach sales numbers:

This is excellent news for the video games and interactive entertainment industry, demonstrating how games sales continue to increase despite difficult economic circumstances.

“With one in every three people classifying themselves as gamers, and with over half of UK households containing at least one video games console, the UK video games market is in great shape for the future.”

So Train2Game, what do you think of the success of Halo: Reach? Is it well deserved? Will Halo: Reach hold onto the title of biggest entertainment launch of the year? Or will a certain Call of Duty: Black Ops’ be the new champion after its release on November 9th?

You can leave your thoughts about Halo: Reach here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.