Train2Game news: Mobile developers “ignore Android at your own peril”

Train2Game students looking to develop mobile games would be best producing them for both iOS and Android devices.  That’s according to mobile developer Mobile Deluxe, in an article posted on Gamasutra.

“Ignore Android at your own peril! Planning an iOS only release strategy is short-sighted and disastrous in the long run.” said Mobile Deluxe’s Sean Thompson.

“Android is too big of an opportunity to leave undeveloped. There are ample resources out there providing best practices for developing for both iOS and Android.”

Towards the end of last year, The Train2Game Blog reported that Android app downloads had topped six billion, a number which will now be even higher. 2011 saw Android significantly increase its user base, closing down on Apple and their iPhone and iPad.

The full Gamasutra piece therefore very much worth a read for Train2Game students.

Keep up to date with the latest Android news here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the report? Is developing for Android on your radar?

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

Train2Game news: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier trailer showcases Kinect and mobile functionality

Train2Game students can get a glimpse at how Ubisoft’s upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier utilises Kinect and a mobile app in a new, somewhat tongue-in-cheek trailer. As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Ubisoft see a ‘bright future’ in Kinect.

The Gunsmith trailer shows off how you can build your own weapons using the Xbox 360’s Kinect functionality, or even a smartphone app when you’re away from the console. Watch it below, right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is currently in closed beta, with the game scheduled for full release for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on Friday 25th May, with a PC version arriving on Friday 15th June.

There’s more Ghost Recon news here on The Train2Game Blog, including our interview with the development team at last year’s Gamescom.

We recently spoke to Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Creative Director Jean-Marc Geoffroy and Ubisoft IP development director Adrian Lacey about getting into the industry, with their advice to Train2Game students to be published soon.

What are your thoughts on Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s Gunsmith trailer? And what do you think about both Kinect and mobile integration?

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

Train2Game news: Diablo III open beta reached 300,000 simultaneously players

Train2Game students will know how important beta testing can be to game development, and with the Diablo III open beta taking place last weekend, Blizzard got a big test for their upcoming title.

Over 300,000 people were playing the Diablo III beta at the same time, with many more joining in throughout the weekend.

“I think we peaked at around 300k concurrent. Total users? I don’t know… a lot.” Blizzard community manager Bashiok posted to Twitter.

Diablo III is released next month.

Beta testing is an excellent way for Train2Game students, especially those on the Games QA Tester course to practice their bug hunting skills. In a recent interview with The Train2Game Blog, Brawl Busters developers Rock Hippo told us that beta testing is “crucial” to the game development process.

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

Did you play the Diablo III beta? Tell us about it.

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

Train2Game news: Gabe Newell praises advantages of fan feedback to developers

Fan feedback is one of the greatest assets available to game developers. That’s according to Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell in an interview with Seven Day Cooldown.

“What I think is best for the industry is that games developers used to be very far away from their customers,” said Newell.

“Nowadays you can have a game developer talking to a customer while they’re playing a game and fix an issue, or improve the experience, and do that in a matter of hours, if not minutes.”

Game developers often use beta tests to get fan feedback ahead of full game releases.

The Valve co-founder said fan-feedback about video games provides better opportunities to make customers happy than it does feedback about films.

“Steven Spielberg is pretty much screwed. By the time he gets feedback on his movie, it’s too late. He’s done. Everything he could do to make customers happy, he’s lost that opportunity by the time he can get reactions from his customers.”

“The closer developers are to their customers, and the more the line blurs between both, that gives us a gigantic advantage over any other entertainment field.” Newell added.

Listen to the full Gabe Newell interview on the Seven Day Cooldown podcast.

Train2Game students can get some great advice from Gabe Newell about being successful by focusing on your customers here on The Train2Game Blog. You can also get a fantastic insight to life at Valve thanks to the recently published online employee handbook

Keep up to date with the latest news from Valve here on The Train2Game Blog..

What are your thoughts on Newell’s comments about fan feedback? Is getting more and more important in game development?

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

[Source: Develop]

Train2Game news: Paradox CEO to take questions in Warlock: Master of the Arcane live stream

Train2Game students can get an insight behind the scenes of Paradox Interactive’s Warlock: Master of the Arcane, when CEO Fredrik Wester hosts a live stream tomorrow.

The Paradox Interactive CEO will also be taking questions from viewers, meaning you could potentially pick up some great advice.

The live stream will begin on Thursday 26th April at 19:00 (20:00 CEST) on Paradox Interactive’s official channel

Warlock: Master of the Arcane is described as” a turn based strategy game set in the fantasy world of Ardania, a planet divided between archmages and grand wizards – each convinced that they alone have the power to unite the world under the protection of their mighty spells.”

Players will build cities, research spells of creation, destruction and blessing and build armies to as they attempt to defeat their neighbours.

There’s more about Warlock: Master of the Arcane here on The Train2Game Blog. The PC strategy title is scheduled for release on Tuesday 8th May.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news from Paradox Interactive.

Will you be tuning into the Warlock: Master of the Arcane live stream? What would you ask CEO Fredrik Wester?

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

Train2Game news: Job interview advice from Crytek UK

Train2Game students often apply for jobs in the industry. So, for those fortunate enough to get interviewed for a full-time position in game development, here’s some excellent advice on echnique from Nottingham based Crytek UK, developers of Crysis 2 and the upcoming Homefront 2.

“Research the company you are applying for, know what business they are in, what games they make and what makes them good at doing this.” Crytek Lead Programmer Richard Semmons told Develop in their April recruitment spotlight, adding that potential employers are impressed if you know the company.

“We’re always impressed by people that have taken the time to understand why they want to get a job with us rather than just because it was a mail shot to every company out there.”

If getting interviewed for a job, Semmons suggests having questions to ask the staff conducting the interview is also helpful.

“Prepare questions. You will most likely be sat in front of leads or directors within the industry, these guys will have a wealth of experience and if nothing else comes of your interview, ask questions to further your development or understanding of the jobs you are going for.”

He added that if the developer has a free engine that’s out there to use, then you should definitely use it, in another example of how modding is great for aspiring game developers.

“The CryEngine Free SDK is out there for people to experiment with. You have a chance to demonstrate your interest in the engine, an insight into how we work and how we utilise our technology; take it!”

Develop’s recruiter hot seat is sure to make interesting reading for Train2Game students looking for a job in the industry; you can read it in full here.

There’s more helpful advice from industry professionals on how to give yourself the best chance of getting that all important first job here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the advice from Crytek? What interview advice would you give?

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

Train2Game news: Dungeonland developer diary discusses ‘designing for cooperation’

Train2Game students can get a look behind the scenes of Paradox Interactive’s upcoming co-op dungeon crawler Dungeonland, thanks to developer diary number one from Critical Studio.

Posted on the Paradox Interactive forum, the Dungeonland developer diary entitled ‘designing for cooperation’ explains what the team want from the game they’re making.

“When we design at Critical we start by answering the question: “what experience do we want our players to have?”With Dungeonland, we wanted to create a hack and slash game where players would play together. And we really meant “together”: we wanted players to collaborate in a meaningful way, to constantly talk, shout, laugh and curse at each other as they play.”

The post also details building the prototype for Dungeonland, and how that went onto influence the game as it currently is. There’s also a rundown of what Critical Studio label as their pillars of game design. 

The Dungeonland developer diary should make fascinating reading for Train2Game students, and you can read it in full here on Paradox Interactive’s forum.

There’s more Paradox Interactive news here on The Train2Game Blog, including our in-depth interview on the development of King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame.

What are your thoughts on the Critical Studio’s developer diary? How about Dungeonland itself?

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

Train2Game industry experience diaries: Rudi Will – week 9

Train2Game student  Rudi Will is on a Train2Game work placement. In this industry experience diary, Rudi discusses designing games and meetings with a publisher.

Read what he has to say about his Train2Game work placement  here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game Scribd page.

Read more Train2Game student industry experience diaries here on The Train2Game Blog.

Train2Game news: Dungeon Defenders map contest offers prizes of your creation in game and $1000

Train2Game students have the opportunity to take part in a map contest from Dungeon Defenders developer Trendy Entertainment, which offers you the chance to see your creation become part of the game.

There’s also $1000 – around £620 – up for grabs for the winner, with second and third placed cash prizes also available. Trendy are encouraging “people of all experience” to enter the contest which provides Train2Game students with a perfect opportunity to showcase their skills.

The Dungeon Defenders development kit required to take part in the contest is downloadable on Steam for free, but you’ll also need a copy of the £9.99 full game. Full rules for the map design competition are available on the Trendy Entertainment forums, while this helpful guide will get you started designing maps.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 21st June, so there’s plenty of time for Train2Game students new to Dungeon Defenders to get to grips with the development kit.

Modding and map creation is a great way for aspiring developers to practice building games,with Valve’s Chet Faliszek and id Sofware’s Tim Willits have both previously told The Train2Game Blog its a great way to showcase your skills to potential employers.

There’s much more about modding here on The Train2Game Blog.

So, will you enter the Dungeon Defenders contest?

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

Train2Game news: 40% of freemium players make in-game purchases

Train2Game students are likely to be familiar with the rise of free-to-play titles, and new research suggests 40% of players will spend money on purchasing content. The majority of players who make payments will do so in their first month.

The report from NPD Group also suggests 84% of those who play trial versions of free-to-play titles will move on to play the full games.

“The majority of freemium gamers who opt to pay to upgrade their experience do so within the first month of playing a particular game,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst for The NPD Group. “When designing a game, it’s important to consider features that would drive quick conversion to pay.”

“Males and those ages 18 to 34 are traditionally seen as a big part of the core gamer audience, so it’s likely these groups are not quite as engaged with freemium because the gaming experience is quite different from what they are used to from the games they play on consoles, handhelds or PC’s,” continued Frazier.

“At a minimum, for these gamers a freemium game would provide a different experience, like a snack versus a full meal.” she concluded.

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

Various browser based and PC games use a free-to-play model, while formerly subscription based MMOs including Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Star Trek Online and, as reported by The Train2Game Blog, even Everquest are among those which have switched to a free-to-play model, each with a varying degree of success.

For the latest news on free-to-play in game development, keep reading The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the percentage of free-to-play players making in-game purchases? Is it a model you’d consider using?

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