Game Design student Chris Robinson speaks to Train2Game Radio

The Train2Game blog recently spoke to Game Design student Chris Robinson (Also known as shadows on the Train2Game forum) You can listen to the interview here on Audioboo, or on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog. You can also read the interview via the Scribd document below!

A useful insight for Train2Game students into game development from Killzone 3 dev Guerilla Games

Killzone 3 Train2Game blog image

There are no doubt some Train2Game students are looking forward to the release Killzone 3 this week, with reports suggesting that it’s the best ever looking game on the PlayStation 3.

You can see how the game looks for yourself on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

It’s led to some speculation as to whether the PlayStation 3 is capable of much more, but Killzone 3 Game Developers, Guerrilla Games, think there is a lot more to come from the Sony console.

“At the end of every project, we say, ‘we’ve maxed it out.’ I made that mistake at the end of Killzone 2,” Guerrilla Games Co-Founder Hermen Hulst told IndustryGamers. “We felt that we’d pushed it absolutely to the max. We now know from experience there’s always more mileage in the tech. You can always find new techniques.”

Hulst also mentioned that Guerrilla Games work with other Sony in-house developers – including LittleBigPlanet 2 Game Developers Media Molecule – to help push each other along, while each studio also produces their own tech.

“The guys that created LittleBigPlanet, I don’t think they would have been able to create a game that looks as great on someone else’s tech and that’s the same with us” said Hulst

“For example, in Killzone 2, we introduced anti-aliasing to get rid of the jagged edges. We’re using that, but an improved version that is much more efficient, so we actually leave space for more detail, bigger environments and more polygons. Compared to Killzone 2, Killzone 3’s polygon count is three times as high, so we’ve been able to find new space, probably averaging out to 40 percent.”

The Guerrilla Game Co-Founder also discussed how Game Designers and Game Developers work together in the studio.

“We’ve had one dedicated programmer on it and a number of designers that attend play test sessions and process the feedback. 3-D is here to stay. It’s like going from mono to stereo sound. You don’t necessarily change the tune or the lyrics, but still the effect can have a profound impact, and from a tech perspective, it’s not that expensive to put into a TV.”

So, along with some information about how a large Game Development studio works, what can Train2Game students take away from Hulst’s comments? Well, it’s that being creative is very important in the games industry and this creativity can help the PlayStation 3 – and other games consoles – stay current for a few years yet!

Hulst has recently been speaking about which games influenced the making of Killzone 3, you can find out which ones they are here on the Train2Game blog.

Killzone 3 is released this week; will it knock Call of Duty: Black Ops from the top of the UK Charts?

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Hulst’s comments about Game Development? Do you believe being creative with technology is the future of making video games look even better? Or are you now already waiting for the PlayStation 4?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also Tweet us on the Train2Game Twitter account.

[Source: Industry Gamers]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Microsoft to release Kinect Development tools for PC

Perhaps it’s the first step towards a current Train2Game student being able to develop motion control based games for the PC in future. In any case, Microsoft will be releasing Software Development Kits that’ll enable Kinect to be modified via PC.

The intent of releasing a “starter kit” for application developers is to make it easier for academic research and enthusiast communities to create different experiences using the Kinect technology.

The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor.  The Kinect Development tools will be released in the Spring, but there is no word on a commercial version as of yet.

Perhaps this’ll eventually lead to an official Star Wars lightsaber game for the Kinect! Although last year, one Sony Engineer claimed that the Microsoft motion controller wouldn’t be suited to such a game. You can read his comments in full here on the Train2Game blog.

Kinect offers the games industry another opportunity to push the boundries of Game Design, so Train2Game students may find it useful to take an interest in the development tools for the PC.

Last month it was revealed that 42% of all Kinect Games sold are made here in the UK.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Kinect development tools being released for the PC? Do you think it’ll lead to revolutionary new ways to play games? Or do you believe that there’s no need to develop motion control for the PC?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also let us know what you think the Train2Game Twitter.

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Minecraft heading to iPhone & iPad

Some Train2Game forum users can’t seem to get enough of Minecraft, but they’ll be ale to get an even bigger fix by playing it on the iPhone and iPad later this year.

The port is being developed by Aron Neiminen, a new recruit to the Mojang team, and will be available some time later this year. Markus ‘Notch’ Persson – who Train2Game students have the chance to question– said the iOS Minecraft won’t get all of the updates the original version receives but will be given those that “make sense” for the touchscreen devices.

Minecraft has proven to be extremely popular, passing 1 million sales despite still being in beta. The game is something Train2Game students can look to when it comes to what a small development can achieve.

Train2Game blog readers can find out more about the history of Minecraft on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Minecraft coming to iOS systems? Is it something you welcome? Will it work? Will you lose your entire life to Minecraft?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also Tweet us on the Train2Game Twitter account.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Peter Molyneux to receive prestigious BAFTA Fellowship

Peter Molyneux BAFTA Train2Game blog image

He’s a veteran Game Designer that is well known by Train2Game forum users, and now he’s set to receive the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship Award. Peter Molyneux will be presented with the prize at the GAME British Academy Video Games Awards.

The Academy Fellowship is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement in the art forms of the moving image. Last year the fellowship for the video games industry was awarded to Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto.

It’s set to be a good year for Peter Molyneux, with the legendary Games Designer also set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards.

On being invited to receive the Fellowship, Peter Molyneux said:

“I remember back in 1967 watching the first BAFTA awards on television with my family and seeing them being so excited about those accolades.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would be possible for me to accept one of the greatest honours the entertainment industry has to offer.

My first thought on learning that I was awarded an Academy Fellowship was that to be in the company of some of the greatest talents the entertainment industry has ever seen is truly humbling and secondly that this is an award not just for myself, but for all the people I’ve ever worked with”.

Molyneux is the latest in a prestigious line of Fellowship award winners, which includes Will Wright and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. Train2Game students may dream of following in their footsteps in the future.

Train2Game blog readers will know Molyneux not only as the man to arguably created the ‘God Genre’ with Populous,  but is also the brains behind titles including Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper and the Fable series.

You can see an in depth look at Fable III  on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

The GAME British Academy Video Games Awards will take place on Wednesday 16 March at the London Hilton on Park Lane, and Train2Game students can find out how to vote for their favourite to win the GAME Award of 2010 here.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Peter Molyneux being awarded a BAFTA Fellowship? Do you believe it’s good for the future of the games industry as a whole? And have you voted for your GAME Award of 2010 preference yet?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also Tweet us on the Train2Game Twitter account.

[Source: BAFTA]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

UK Charts: Black Ops back to No.1

Not only is it still popular on the Train2Game forum, but Call of Duty: Black Ops has also regained No.1 in the UKIE/GFK Chart Track All Formats Top 40, and denies Marvel vs. Capcom 3 top spot in the process.

The UK’s top selling game of 2010 climbs back up to No.1 in its 15th week in the UKIE Chart, with help likely coming from retail discounting lowering the price of Call of Duty: Black Ops to under £30. It marks the titles’ eighth week at No.1, matching that of its predecessor Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The 2009 title however, achieved the 8 No.1’s in as many consecutive weeks.

The revival of Call of Duty: Black Ops prevents Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds taking top spot in its first week on sale. You can read more about the latest title from Capcom on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

Former No.1 Dead Space 2 has dropped one position to No. 3, while last weeks’ chart topper Test Drive Unlimited 2 moves down to No.4. The top 5 is completed by FIFA 11, which slips two places from No. 3.

Just Dance 2 moves up one place to retake No.6, while another Ubisoft title -Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – drops two to No. 7.  Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem drops two to No.8, while two non-movers – Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Collection and LittleBigPlanet 2 complete the top ten.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the only new entry in the UKIE Top 40.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending February 19th is as follows:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Capcom)
3. Dead Space 2 (EA)
4. Test Drive Unlimited 2 (Atari)
5. FIFA 11 (EA)
6. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
7. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
8. Mario vs Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem (Nintendo)
9. Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Collection (Rockstar)
10. LittleBigPlanet 2 (Sony)

There’s a busy week for release dates ahead, with Killzone 3, Bulletstorm and Kirby’s Epic Yarn – which was very successful in Japan – all hitting retail this week.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Call of Duty: Black Ops re-taking No.1? Do you think Marvel vs. Capcom 3 deserved to take the top spot? And with so many releases next week, are you willing to predict if any of them will take No. 1?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also Tweet us on the Train2Game Twitter account.

[Source: “Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2011 UKIE Ltd]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Civilization II designer talks social media gaming

Frontierville Train2Game blog image

Train2Game students are aware of the growing popularity, but that doesn’t mean hardcore games are going to go away.

That’s according to former Civilization II Lead Designer and Frontierville creator Brian Reynolds.

He doesn’t buy the idea that some gamers’ have that social media games are a bad thing, but rather he sees another change in the forever evolving games industry.

“I don’t think that traditional hardcore games are going to go away. I think they are going to keep making those. But it’s a consolidated industry and now there are only these several gigantic franchises,” he told Kotaku.

“I wouldn’t start a triple-A studio these days. Ten years ago, it almost felt like when we started Big Huge, ‘Wow, good thing we did it then because we never could have done it after that because the door was closing.’”

He also argues that he’s still using the same skills he used to produce other games, are being used to create the likes of Frontierville, and that he finds it to be fun.

“But it turns out that the skills we have are really valuable in social games and it’s actually really fun to design those games. First of all, I’m working on the forefront of a new thing. Second of all, I’m reaching (millions), tens of (millions) of players I could never have reached before.

And third, I really need my skills. It’s harder to design these games. We do the same things we did with strategy games: Design simple systems that interact in complex ways, but they have to be so much more accessible then they used to.”

It also seems that game developers have noticed the change and are looking to join in the production of social media games.

“I saw a big change in their attitude this year when FrontierVille came out, when CityVille came out,” he said. “I suddenly started getting letters from folks that said they wanted to work at Zynga.” He added.

BAFTA has seen the growing significance of social media gaming, with the games now getting their own category at the GAME Awards next month. Meanwhile, it’s been predicted that revenue from casual games will reach over $1 billion this year.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Reynolds comments? Do you agree that he’s obviously right when it comes to hardcore games? Are you surprised to see the developer of a classic game now working on a casual one?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also Tweet us on the Train2Game Twitter account.

[Source: Kotaku via VG247]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

UPDATE: Portal 2 NOT PlayStation Move compatible.

Portal 2 Train2Game blog image

UPDATE: Valve has told Eurogamer that Portal 2 won’t support PlayStation Move,  giving a statement to Eurogamer which read: this quote was ‘lost in translation’ – Portal 2 does not include support for Sony’s motion controller.”

PlayStation 3 owning Train2Game students may be pleased to hear that their version of Portal 2 – with the game being one of the most anticipated of the year – will be PlayStation Move compatible.

The report comes from the German PlayStation Blog (and translated by Eurogamer) and it’s an excellent example of the innovative Game Design that Train2Game students may wish to implement in future.

Valve writer Chet Faliszek said it could be considered ‘compensation’ for PlayStation 3 owners not getting Left 4 Dead. He also hints at Valve’s strive for perfection when it comes to Game Design.

“We made a mistake back then and gave the Orange Box console versions to an external team. They did a good job, but didn’t quite achieve the same quality level that we have at Valve. Now everything happens in-house, we created a special console department just for that.”

“So the move to the PlayStation 3 comes late – we’re sorry for that. As a small compensation we have PS3-exclusive cloud saving, a free code for PC and complete PlayStation Move support.

“Look at it as a compensation for Left 4 Dead.”

The Valve Game Designer added: “Move is also a completely new experience for us, thus the system isn’t fully integrated yet.”

The news comes after Killzone 3 developers Guerrilla Games suggested most First Person Shooters will be played with motion control in a few years time. (Even if Train2Game forum users suggested they’d like to still be able to use control pads) The Killzone 3 Game Developer has also revealed that Valve’s Half-Life is one their biggest influences.

Portal 2 is set for release in April and comes with new features along with a robot companion voiced by Stephen Merchant. The PlayStation 3 edition of the game also comes with the PC version for free.

So Train2Game, do you think being PlayStation Move compatible is good for Portal? Will this innovation encourage you to buy the PlayStation 3 version?  What other games would you like to see Move innovations in? And do you want to develop for motion controls in future?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively, tell us what you think via the Train2Game Twitter and Facebook pages.

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

Game Development student Mykolas Mankevicius speaks to the Train2Game blog

The Train2Game blog recently spoke to Game Development student Mykolas Mankevicius (Also known as neophen on the Train2Game forum) You can listen to the interview here on Audioboo, or on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog. You can also read the interview via the Scribd document below!

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively you can let us know your thoughts via the Train2Game Facebook page, or the Train2Game Twitter account.

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

EA: Battlefield 3 will be game of the year. Do Train2Game students agree?

John Riccitiello Train2Game blog image

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 proved to be popular on the Train2Game forum, but EA believe Battlefield 3 could be even more popular. The publisher believes Battlefield 3 will be the best game released this year, but also admits it isn’t the current market leader.

“I’ve made no excuse for the reality that I want market leadership in the first-person shooter business.” EA CEO John Riccitiello said while speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference

“In many ways I feel that we created the first mass market first-person shooter with Medal of Honor and unfortunately with the transition to the PS3 era we lost that. We’re after it now.”

“There’s a great thing about an annual franchise, whether it’s us or our competition; when you’ve got that annual franchise it’s a meal ticket, it can generate a great deal of income.

“One of the problems with an annual franchise is you don’t take the time to reengineer the underlying codebase so that it’s as ‘next-generation’ as it can be,” he added.

“We think there’s a window of opportunity here. We’ve been investing for three years to build Battlefield 3. I think it will stand up as the best product in the industry this year… and we’re going dead at ’em.”

Of course, Battlefield’s biggest rival in the in the FPS Genre is a certain Call of Duty series. Black Ops was the UK’sbest selling game in 2010, compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 which was No. 10. Both of the franchises are nominated for Multiplayer and Use of Audio awards at the GAME British Academy Video Game Awards

Battlefield 3 is scheduled for release towards the end of the year and will feature a new engine and 64 person multiplayer on PC while consoles will support up to 24 players.

So Train2Game, do you think EA can make Battlefield 3 the best game of 2011? Will it be better than the next Call of Duty? Or do you believe that the best game of the year won’t be a first person shooter?

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively you can let us know your thoughts via the Train2Game Facebook page, or the Train2Game Twitter account.

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios 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 or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.