Train2Game Christmas Competition now closed

The Train2Game Christmas Competition is now closed.  The deadline for entries passed at 4pm on Monday 20th December with seven Train2Game student teams having submitted entries.

The DR Studios team will shortly be playing and assessing the seven games with the winning entry being revealed in January. The winning team will see there game – based around a postcode map of the UK – published on the iPad through DR Studios.

Anyone interested in seeing what the Train2Game student teams have developed can do so thanks to this thread from IndigoWhite on the Train2Game forum, which contains a link to all of the games in one torrent.

You can see the judging criteria for the Train2Game Christmas Competition, here on the Train2Game forum.

Of course, once the winners of the Train2Game Christmas Competition are announced, the results will be here on the Train2Game blog.

Call of Duty: Black Ops takes Christmas Number 1

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops is this years’ Christmas Number 1, having held onto top spot in the GFK Chart-Track All-Formats Top 40.

Activision’s first person shooter has now sold over 3 million copies in the UK – with almost half of those sales coming on the first 24 hours on sale. The success of Call of Duty: Black Ops means that it’s now one of only three games to top £100 in revenue here in the UK. (The other games that have are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Wii Fit)

The Call of Duty Black Ops Christmas Number 1 means that the game once again holds off FIFA 11 which remains in second place.  Another EA published title in the form of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the third biggest seller this week, and has jumped up four places from seventh in last weeks charts.

Just Dance 2 moves up two places into fourth place, and it’s followed by another Ubisoft title, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood which drops one spot to fifth. Former chart topper Gran Turismo 5 has also dropped one place down to sixth.

Nintendo Wii exclusive Donkey Kong Country Returns rises one place to seventh, while Medal of Honor re-enters the top ten and takes 8th place. EA’s shooter achieved top spot back in October. Wii Fit Plus and Professor Layton and the Lost Future switch positions once again, taking ninth and tenth for Nintendo respectively.

The biggest loser this week is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm which despite debuting in third only last week, is no longer even in the top 40.

“With over 11 million videogames sold in the last four weeks in the UK, generating over £290 million, they are clearly the gift of choice this Christmas, showing once again that the interactive entertainment industry is the UK’s leading creative industry,” said UKIE Director General Michael Rawlinson .

“The Christmas chart also demonstrates the variety of choice on offer for consumers; there really is something for everyone.”

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending December 18th is as follows:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
4. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
5. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
6. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
7. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Nintendo)
8. Medal of Honor (EA)
9. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)
10. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)

So Train2Game, is it a well deserved Christmas Number 1 for Call of Duty: Black Ops? Do you think Activision’s behemoth will be unseated from its throne anytime soon? Are you surprised to see World of Warcraft: Cataclysm completely drop from the Top 40? And do you think the top ten does indeed show there is something for everyone?

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

Deus Ex: Human Revolution delayed

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Train2Game blog image

Square Enix has announced that Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be delayed in news that will come as a disappointed to fans of the series on the Train2Game forum.

The game was scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2011, but has now been pushed back to the second part of the financial year which begins in April.

If any Train2Game students reading are confused by the language just used, it’s because the Deux Ex: Human Revolution delay came in a Square Enix announcement to investors! Interestingly, the language used in the note to investors seems to suggest the poor performance of Final Fantasy XIV is implied as one of the reasons for the delay:

“With weak sales performance of console game titles that have been newly released during the current fiscal year as well as harsh market feedback regarding a key title, the Group recognizes the reinforcement of development capability in our Digital Entertainment segment as our most critical managerial issue,”

“We therefore have decided to spend additional time to further polish our upcoming game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, resulting in a shift in release timing from our prior plan of the current fiscal year to next fiscal year.”

So at least there’s one positive for disappointed Train2Game students, Deus Ex: Human Revolution will get to spend more time with the Game Designers, Game Developers and Game Artists behind it and hopefully it’ll be better game because of it.

For now, Train2Game students can console themselves by watching the first, or second Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog. You can look at the Thoughts of Train2Game blog to see what bonuses the special ‘Augmented Edition’ of Deus Ex: Human Revolution will provide.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is being developed by Eidos Montreal and will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC…well, some time from April 2011 onwards.

So Train2Game,  are you disappointed by the delay? Or are you happy to see Deus Ex: Human Revolution spend more time in development? Do you find it strange how the failure of another game is causing this to be delayed?

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

[Source: Eurogamer]

European Nintendo 3DS announcement coming next month

Nintendo 3DS

Good news for the Nintendo fans among Train2Game students!  The Japanese giants are set to reveal launch plans for the Nintendo 3DS at a launch event in Amsterdam next month.

MCV Online report that invitations to the gathering have been sent out to the press, and suggest that Nintendo will reveal a European launch date and price for the 3DS, along with a launch line up.

The Nintendo 3DS is not only the world’s first 3D handheld console, but it also offers the chance to play games in 3D without the need for special glasses. Train2Game students who wear regular glasses are no doubt pleased about this!

The Nintendo 3DS will be available in Japan from February 26th 2011, with a European release date expected to be in March. If that is the case, it’ll mean eager Train2Game students should be able to resist importing a 3DS from Japan!

There are no official launch titles yet, but earlier this year Nintendo revealed a software trailer that shows a wide variety of 3DS games in development. Big name titles include Super Street Fighter IV DS, Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater, Dead or Alive Dimensions, and Mario Kart 3DS. This morning CVG has reported that The Sims 3 will also be coming to Nintendo’s handheld.  You can see the Nintendo 3DS software line up video here on the Train2Game blog.

While we have no official confirmation of what the launch titles will be, though this is likely to change after the Nintendo event! You can check out the Thoughts of Train2Game blog to see which games Gabe believes will be available with the Nintendo 3DS at launch. Of course, all will be revealed on January 19th.

Earlier this month on the Train2Game blog, we reported on how handheld consoles are losing the mobile gaming market to smartphones. Could the Nintendo 3DS help slow down this trend?

So Train2Game, do you want a Nintendo 3DS? Are you looking forward to the announcement? And which games do you expect to be launched with the handheld console next year?

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

Get five great indie games and help charity with the Humble Indie Bundle

Humble Indie Bundle

This may have already been pointed out on the TrainGame forum, but it’s such a good cause we’re putting it here on the Train2Game blog too.

A group of independent developers are not only offering five great indie games that Train2Game students will want to play, but you can pay what you like and the money goes to charity. The original Humble Indie Bundle was a great success which raised a huge amount of donations for charity.

Now there’s a second Humble Indie Bundle which once again not only gives you the opportunity to own five great indie games, but also donate to kids charity Childs Play or the Electronic Frontier Foundation when you buy the pack. You can hand over whatever amount you want for five games that when bought separately would cost $85!

So what games can Train2Game students add to their collection by buying the Humble Indie Bundle? Well you will get Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans.  You can find out a little more about each of them by watching the Hundle Indie Bundle #2 trailer below.

Humble Indie Bundle #2 has already been a huge success making over $500,000 in just one day.  At the time of writing, the bundle has brought in a total revenue of over $680,000 with the biggest individual donation coming from Minecraft developer Notch who handed over $2000. (You can read more about Minecraft here on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog) As I write this, the Humble Indie Bundle has been bought almost 93,000 times.

The average price paid for the Humble Indie bundle currently stands at $7.33. The Average donation by Windows users is $6.12, the average donation of a Mac user is $8.27 while Linux users are handing over an average donation of $13.66. It looks like Humble Indie Bundle #2 might raise more than the original!

Once again, Train2Game students can pay what they like for five great indie games. It’s an offer that really should be taken up! You can hand your money over to a good cause here.

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

Minecraft entering Beta December 20th

Minecraft

Indie game sensation Minecraft – well loved on the Train2Game forum – is entering its Beta testing phase.  The news was announced by Minecraft creator Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson on his blog.

The biggest news, that is if you haven’t yet bought the Alpha version, is that the price will be rising from €9.95 to €14.95. The Beta version of Minecraft will also change the license to remove the line that all future versions of the game will be free. So if any Train2Game students want to invest in Minecraft before it moves out of the Alpha stage – and therefore get it for the cheapest price – you have until December 20th to purchase it from Minecraft.net.

The Minecraft Beta will also come with “a larger focus on polish and content” and Notch says he’d like input from modders on this – it could be a great experience of Train2Game students! The Beta will also see the introduction of a story mode.

Train2Game students can read the full post from Notch below:

“With Beta comes a larger focus on polish and content, and we’ll start early on with adding proper modding support with a stable API, and we’d love all input we can get on this from the modders out there. We’ll also add some kind of non-intrusive narrative to the game to help drive the game experience early on, and to provide some kind of late game goal. There will be a bigger focus on testing and stability as well, with more time between updates.

When the game enters beta, the price will rise to 14.95 Euro.

We will also change the license to remove the line that promises all future versions of the game for free. Please note that this change only affects people who buy the game after December 20, so if you got the game for during alpha, you will still get all future updates for free, despite this change. A promise is a promise.

Buying the game during beta will include all updates up until release, of course, and bug patches will be free.

Soon, you will be able to buy gift codes for Minecraft, perfectly timed for the holidays! Even better, if you buy those before December 20, accounts created from these codes will count as alpha accounts, and will receive all future updates for free”.

Minecraft is a brilliant example of an indie developer producing a hit game that provides huge amounts of inspiration on students on the Games Design, Games Developer and Games Artist & Animation courses.  The game has been purchased digitally over 750,000 times and brought in over $10 million.

You can see a more in depth look into the history of Minecraft and the games development in this post on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog. You can also get involved with the ongoing discussion about Minecraft on the Train2Game forum where many Train2Game students have been sharing their experiences of the sandbox game.

So Train2Game, if you’re yet to purchase Minecraft, are you tempted to do so before the game enters Beta on December 20th? What are your thoughts on the price increase? And if you’re already playing Minecraft, what are you looking forward to in the Beta?

You can leave your thoughts about Minecraft entering Beta stage here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Mass Effect 3 & Elder Scrolls V among new games revealed at VGAs

Mass Effect 3

The Spike TV Video Game Awards in Los Angeles has revealed a number of new games we can expect to see arrive in 2011 and beyond, and the excitement is already evident on the Train2Game forum.

The biggest announcements included Bioware showing off a trailer for Mass Effect 3 (So the teaser that featured on the Train2Game blog last month WAS for the third game in the series) and Bethesda revealing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The Mass Effect 3 trailer see’s London overrun by an alien species, while a sniper inside Big Ben pleads for Commander Shepard to return to earth. The commander is looking down on the planet from space while huge alien machines lay waste to London. You can see the Mass Effect 3 reveal trailer for yourself on the Train2Game forum. The game will be coming to PC, Xbox 360 – and yes – the PlayStation 3 towards the end of 2011.

The VGAs also saw the revealing of another much rumoured RPG title in the form of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You can see the trailer for that here on the Train2Game forum. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a direct sequel to Oblivion and will be released on 11th November 2011. Another reveal included that of Resistance 3, with a trailer featuring a mix of live action footage and gameplay. The Resistance 3 trailer is also available in the VGA thread on the Train2Game forum.

Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception also had extended trailers shown off. The Uncharted 3 trailer – available on the Train2Game forum – shows what we can expect from Naughty Dog and reveals the game will come at the start of November.

Meanwhile, the Arkham City trailer reveals Doctor Hugo Strange as a villain and Train2Game students can watch it below.

Other reveals included Prototype 2, Guillermo Del Toro’s game InSane, but the latter not being scheduled for release until 2013!

So Train2Game, which of the VGA reveals and announcements are you most excited about? You see all of the trailers and leave your thoughts about them here on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog.

Call of Duty: Black Ops holds off Cataclysm

Call of Duty: Black Ops Train2Game

Train2Game students probably aren’t surprised to see that Call of Duty: Black Ops remains at the top of the UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats chart this week, once again comfortably holding off its rivals.

Regular readers of the Train2Game blog will know that Call of Duty: Black Ops has topped the chart every week since it was released in early November. The only week Activision’s shooter hasn’t claimed Number 1 so far is the week Gran Turismo 5 was released.

FIFA 11 is also a non-mover, holding onto second place for the second week running. It’s an impressive feat when you consider the game was first released over two months ago. This weeks highest new entry is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, with the PC exclusive expansion title taking third place after its worldwide launch last week. Train2Game students may be interested to here that Cataclysm’s achievement doesn’t include digital sales, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

The new entry of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm pushes Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Gran Turismo 5 down one place each to fourth and fifth respectively. Just Dance 2 also drops one place to sixth place in this weeks All-Formats chart, while Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a non-mover in seventh.

Donkey Kong Country returns for the Nintendo Wii enters the top ten in its second week on sale, bounding five places up the chart to eighth place. Professor Layton and the Lost Future for the Nintendo DS and Wii Fit Plus round out the top ten, having swapped positions since last week.

Michael Jackson: The Experience and Wii Party both drop out the top ten, falling to 11th and 12th respectively.  Former Number 1 Fallout: New Vegas doesn’t look like it’ll be reentering the top ten any time soon, dropping from 11th to 18th place.

Disney’s Epic Mickey enters the top 40 for the first time, but only manages to sneak up to 37th place.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending December 11th is as follows:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Blizzard)
4. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
5. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
6. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
8. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Nintendo)
9. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)
10. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)

So Train2Game, are you at all surprised that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm didn’t take Number 1? Or was it always going to be difficult for a PC exclusive to knock down Call of Duty: Black Ops? And with Christmas fast approaching, which game do you think will the all important title of Christmas Number 1?

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

Sony reveal gun attachment for PlayStation Move

PlayStation sharp shooter

Many Train2Game students have already welcome motion controllers into their homes with open arms, but a new attachment from Sony could help swing some of those who remain unconvinced.

The Sharp Shooter will allow Train2Game students to use their PlayStation Move controllers in the fashion of a real gun when playing shooters. The new device will be compatible with the upcoming Killzone 3, along with other games including Time Crisis: Razing Storm, Socom 4 and Dead Space Extraction.

The official blurb about the PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter on the PlayStation Blog says:

“The PlayStation Move sharp shooter houses both the motion controller and navigation controller, giving you complete control over aiming, movement and interaction within the game. It will truly offer the most intuitive and immersive control experience ever found in a shooter game.

It was designed for both comfort and precision, including easily accessible buttons, a responsive digital trigger, adjustable shoulder stock and convenient access to the navigation controller.

In addition, the sharp shooter has incorporated a firing mode selector, realistic pump-action and a reload button that allow for new ways of engagement.”

Train2Game students can see a video of the PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter,  thanks to the European PlayStation blog below

The Sharp Shooter doesn’t have a yet fixed release date, but it’ll be available in time for Killzone 3 in February 2011. The US price is $39.99, with no signs of a UK price as of yet.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Sharp Shooter? Is it something you’d like to use to play first person shooters? Do you think it’ll work? Would it encourage you to get a PlayStation Move controller if you don’t already have one?

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

“If you’re having no fun making your game then you’re in trouble” says Joe Danger creator

Joe Danger Train2GameTrain2Game students are no doubt enthusiastic about their games design, developer and artist and animator courses, but Hello Games boss Sean Murray says developers in the industry should be more enthusiastic about the work they produce.

Speaking at the Evolve in London conference, Murray said:

“Some game developers, they don’t play their own games, they don’t feel it’s an expression of themselves think that’s very sad.”

“I think some of the gameplay mechanics that are in the social gaming space are more indicative of that, there are certain pyramid scheme elements to the game design that I don’t think anyone who just wanted to make a game that they themselves would play would ever put that in.”

“The social games of the future that are just built around rewards and pyramid schemes… maybe don’t have as much a place in that world”

During his talk, the Hello Games boss showed videos of Joe Danger developers laughing and having fun while playtesting the game.  He said that “If you’re having no fun making your game then you’re in trouble,” We’d therefore very much like to think that Train2Game students are having fun when they’re developing games!

Murray also spoke about how motion controllers saying that they’re great in theory, but “”inaccurate motion control actually reduces interactivity and that’s harmful” He then showed the video of someone ‘playing’ Kinect Joyride and coming third despite not moving at all during the race.

“It’s such as shame, it’s such a lost opportunity. It is actually a good game, but there’s a danger of making games too casual and removing interactivity, and you see that sometimes. I think even the casual gamer doesn’t want to just have reward.” He said.

Train2Game have a great opportunity to be enthusiastic about producing games through entering the Train2Game Christmas Competition. The winners will see their game published during 2011!

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Sean Murray’s comments?  Do you think he’s right about social games? And how enthusiastic are you about your Train2Game projects?

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

(Source: GI.biz)