Train2Game news: Angry Birds Space becomes the fastest growing mobile game ever

Train2Game students will be familiar with the success of Angry Birds, the casual title that was one of the first huge stars of mobile gaming.

Now Rovio’s latest title, Angry Birds Space ,has become the fastest growing mobile game ever, with 50 million downloads in its first 35 days on release.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to all fans of Angry Birds everywhere.” said a blog post from Finnish developer Rovio.

“While numbers like this certainly say something about the popularity of Angry Birds, for us the main goal is to keep creating fun new experiences that everybody can enjoy! We just launched the first free update for Angry Birds Space, with plenty more surprises in stock.” the post added.

Angry Birds Space is currently available for iOS and Android mobile devices, PC and Mac. Angry Birds merchandise is available throughout the High Street!

What are your thoughts on the continued success of Angry Birds? Do you think it has changed the industry?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: God of War: Ascension game director hosting live stream at 4 P.M.

Train2Game students can get a first look at God of War: Ascension  when Game Director Todd Papy hosts a live stream on The PlayStation Blog at 4p.m.

The latest God of War title for PlayStation 3 is a prequel, which will introduce multiplayer to the series for the first time.

“That’s right. God of War: Ascension will feature a ground-breaking new online multiplayer mode,” said Pappy.

“We wouldn’t do multiplayer in God of War unless we knew we could do it right. That’s why I’m extremely excited to finally be able to talk publicly about it and share all the gory details with you live. I even have some exclusive gameplay footage to share with you, so be sure to tune in to see it all live.” he added.

Train2Game students interested in game design are likely to want to tune into the live stream to find out how multiplayer is going to be implemented, and how the story for God of War: Ascension is taking shape. The stream is scheduled to start at 4 and can be seen here.

What are your thoughts on the introduction of multiplayer for God of War: Ascension?  What do you want to see from the game?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: VG247]

Train2Game news: Free-to-play shooter Tribes: Ascend gains over 800,000 players

Train2Game students were among those that took place in the open beta for Tribes: Ascend, a multiplayer shooter from Hi-Rez Studios.

The free-to-play title officially launched on 12th April, and in just over 2 weeks has acquired over 800,000 players.  The figure was revealed to Gamasutra by Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris.  The game lets players use experience or gold to unlock items.

Tribes: Ascend is downloadable for free here.

The impressive figures are yet another example of how the increasingly popular free-to-play model can result in success for game developers. Indeed, as recently reported by The Train2Game Blog, research suggests that 40% of free-to-play users purchase in-game items.

Earlier this year, Brawl Busters developer Rock Hippo told The Train2Game Blog that free-to-play allows them to reach a much larger audience.

There’s more about free-to-play and its impact on the games industry, here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the initial numbers for Tribes: Ascend? Have you played the game? If so, what do you think?

Leave your comments on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: UK Charts – Prototype 2 leaps to No.1

Train2Game blog readers see Activision Blizzard take their first No.1 of 2012, with Prototype 2 taking top spot in its first week on sale. Radical Entertainment’s open world action game reaches No.1, despite failing to match the debut week sales of 2009’s original.

FIFA Street is a non-mover at No.2, with fellow EA Sports title FIFA 12 also remaining in the same spot it occupied last week at No.3. Mass Effect 3 and Kinect Star Wars both move up one position each to No.4 and No.5 respectively.

After reaching top spot last week, The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings drops five to No.6, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 slipping one to No.7. Battlefield 3 drops to No.8, while Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is once again a non-mover at No.9.  Saints Row The Third moves up two places and complete the top ten.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 both drop out of the top ten, slipping to No.13 and No.14 respectively.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 28th April 2012 is therefore as follows:

1. Prototype 2 (Activision)
2. FIFA Street (EA)
3. FIFA 12 (EA)
4. Mass Effect 3 (EA)
5. Kinect Star Wars (Microsoft)
6. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Namco Bandai)
7. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (EA)
8. Battlefield 3 (EA)
9. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Sega)
10. Saints Row: The Third (THQ)

Releases for the week ahead include Sniper Elite V2 and Tera.

What are your thoughts on the charts this week? Will Prototype 2 hold onto top spot this time next week?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Mass Effect writers on creating Mordin Solus

Train2Game students can get a behind the scenes look at the game design of Mass Effect 3 thanks to a video posted on the BioWare Blog over the weekend.

Titled ‘The Probletunity of Mordin Solus,’ the short video sees Patrick Weekes and senior writer John Dombrow at the BioWare and Mass Effect panel during PAX East, discussing the origins of the Salarian scientist.

They also discuss what makes Mordin Solus a memorable character, how he evolved through the series, and how he gets sent off in Mass Effect 3. Train2Game students who haven’t played Mass Effect 3 should be aware that this video contains spoilers. Watch it below.

There’s more BioWare news here on The Train2Game Blog, including advice from John Dombrow on how to get into the industry.

What are your thoughts on the video? What do you think makes a good character?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Witcher 2 developer diary discusses additions for Enhanced Edition

Train2Game students can get an insight behind the scenes of The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings in a newly released developer diary from CD Projekt. The game took top spot in the UK Charts this week.

The video sees the team discuss how they added new content to the enhanced edition based on fan feedback, before moving onto talking about the new characters, quests and locations they’ve added. Watch The Witcher 2 developer diary below.

For more about the development of The Witcher 2, read The Train2Game Blog interview with CD Projekt Environment Artist Marek Ziemak. There’s more news about The Witcher 2 here.

What are your thoughts on the new developer diary from CD Projekt? Have you been playing The Witcher 2?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Bioshock Infinite director Ken Levine talks game design with Uncharted writer Amy Hennig

Bioshock Infinite

Tran2Game students can get an excellent insight into game design, thanks to a podcast featuring Irrational Games’ Ken Levine in conversation with Naughty Dog’s Amy Hennig.

Ken Levine is the Creative Director of the upcoming Bioshock Infinite, while Amy Hennig has the same role on the Uncharted series. The Irrational Interviews podcast is therefore almost a must listen for anyone interested in video game story telling.

The two Creative Directors discuss creating complex narrative in a video game, how a large creative team works, and the challenges of their roles and how different it is to writing for film.

“It’s not the way films are made,” said Hennig.  “I’ve described this to friends of mine who are screenwriters, and they just think we’re insane.”

Download Ken Levine’s Irrational Interview with Amy Hennig here.

A previous podcast saw Levine discussing narrative with film director Guillermo del Toro, which you can find out more about here.

Will you be downloading this podcast? If so, let us know what you learned from the two Creative Directors.

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: F1 Online: The Game beta open for registration

Train2Game students have the chance to join Codemasters’ F1 Online: The Game closed beta. F1 Online: The Game is a free-to-play browser based Formula 1 racing and management game.

Codemasters say” players will make the calls to develop their own personal franchise and improve their car’s performance on the circuit,” and more as they act as an F1 team boss and also take part in online multiplayer races.

To register for the F1 Online: The Game, and earn exclusive in-game rewards, visit www.F1OnlineTheGame.com, and watch the trailer below, here on The Train2Game Blog.

Earlier this month, The Train2Game Blog reported that Codemasters have launched a new label, Codemasters Racing. The first game to be released through it will be DiRT Showdown next month.

Get an insight into life at Codemasters in our interview with F1 2011 Chief Game Designer Steve Hood, while there’s more news from the studio here on The Train2Game Blog.

And for more on beta testing, how it’s useful for Train2Game students, and opportunities to get involved with it, keep reading the Train2Game blog.

Will you sign up for the F1 Online: The Game closed beta? What are your initial thoughts on the title?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative update to add level creation tools

Train2Game students will soon be able to create and share their own Portal 2 level designs when Valve releases the free Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC next month.

The Perpetual Testing Initiative puzzle maker allows Portal 2 players to publish and download levels directly through Steam Workshop, where players can also rate the designs of others.

The free update comes to PC and Mac on Tuesday 8th May.

In an interview with The Train2Game Blog, Valve’s Chet Faliszek says modding or using community creation tools is a great way for aspiring game developers to show off their skills.

There’s more Portal 2 news right here on The Train2Game Blog.

So, will you be designing Portal 2 puzzles? And what are your thoughts on Valve releasing free content over a year after the game was released?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news exclusive: Ubisoft senior figures offer advice on getting into the industry

Train2Game News recently attended the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier game developer Q&A at BAFTA. While there, we were fortunate enough to grab a quick word with Creative Director Jean-Marc Geoffroy and Ubisoft Development Director Adrian Lacey.

They gave us some words of wisdom on how you can secure that first job in the games industry, first of all telling The Train2Game Blog that you need to know what specific area you want to go into.

“There are so many different jobs in the video games industry from coders to designers, to artists; there are so many different things it’s so important to know what you want to do. It’s not ‘I want to do video games,’ because that doesn’t exist.” said Geoffroy, who has over 18 years experience in the industry.

So if you want to be a game designer it means you want to rules and mechanics, so study game design.” he continued.

If you want to be an artist, you want to be a modeller, you need to know textures, shadows, 2D art. There’s so much stuff you need to know. Well, not to know, but what you like and what to push into.” said the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier boss.

Ubisoft development director Adrian Lacey added that the variety of platforms available now means aspiring game developers have different options available to them.

“Then push with that experience and from there and there are so many options. Plus I think all the different platforms of video games that are open to you give people ways that they can programme their own game or make their own app, then it’s a starting point.” he said.

Lacey also revealed that a number of Ghost Recon developers started out as modders, and building mods is a great way to show off your ability to a potential employer.

“On Ghost Recon, the amount of modders and stuff like that we ended up hiring. I remember, back in the day [Former Ubisoft designer] Christian Allen was a modder and he got hired because he was doing mods on the original Ghost Recon.” he said.

“We always look at what people are doing, people are making, so if you like to make your own things, it’s always something that’s interesting in the industry.” Lacey added.

Geoffrey added that it’s important for artists and coders to be able to show off their skills too.

“For an artist, making some cool 3D stuff, think about real-time, show that you are creative. Even when you are a coder be creative, because a good creative coder is amazing, like gold-dust!”

There’s much more about the development of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, in The Train2Game Blog interview with Ubisoft at last year’s Gamescom. You can read more advice from industry professionals about getting into the industry here.

What are your thoughts on the advice from Creative Director Jean-Marc Geoffroy and Ubisoft Development Director Adrian Lacey?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

BAFTA’s public events and online resources bring you closer to the creative talent behind your favourite games, films, and TV shows. Find out more at www.bafta.org/newsletter,www.facebook.com/bafta or twitter.com/baftagames