Train2Game News: Take-Two not worried about a lack of next-gen consoles at E3

There’s no need to panic if no new console systems are shown off at E3 next week. In fact, an extended life cycle for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is good for game developers and publishers.

That’s the view of Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick in an interview with MCV.

“There is still ample opportunity in the market with the current generation, provided that you deliver the highest quality entertainment experiences – which we always aim to do,” he said.

“We’re seeing some evidence of an ageing console cycle, which generally is a good thing for a company with very high quality titles, like Take-Two.”

Games coming from Take-Two in the near future include Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, BioShock Infinite and Grand Theft Auto V, the latter of which doesn’t have a release date as of yet.

“Hardware transitions historically have created both challenges and opportunities for third-party publishers. In order to succeed, it seems to me that any company needs: talent, tech, IP, and a strong balance sheet.” Zelnick continued.

“Take-Two has all four. As always, we’ll need to make triple-A titles that delight consumers. Frankly, our creative folks will be thrilled to have an opportunity to do just that.” he added.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news on next gen consoles.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of next-gen consoles not turning up at E3? Do you think their needed yet? Or are developers doing just fine with the current crop?

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

Train2Game News: Inversion developer diary discusses influence of gravity on game design

Get behind the scenes of Saber Interactive’s upcoming third person shooter Inversion in a brand new developer diary from Namco Bandai.

Saber President Matthew Karch and associate producer Nick Madonna discuss the game design of inversion, covering the story, the gameplay, and perhaps most interestingly of all, how gravity and physics at as Inversion’s main weapon.

Watch Inversion – Behind the Game: Weaponizing Gravity developer diary below here on The Train2Game Blog.

Inversion from Saber Interactive and Namco Bandai is scheduled to be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Get behind the scenes of many more games by watching the latest developer diaries here on The Train2Game Blog. There’s more Namco Bandai news here.

What are your impressions of Inversion? What do you think about gravity being key to the game’s design?

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

Train2Game News: American McGee’s BigHead BASH enters open beta

BigHead BASH, a free-to-play multiplayer game from Spicy Horse and American McGee has entered open beta.

Train2Game students may know American McGee as the creator of the Alice and Alice: Madness Returns, as well as working as a game designer for classic titles including Quake and Doom.

BigHead Bash is described as “a fast-paced, multiplayer online action game with console-quality graphics using licensed content. Among the content licensed includes bands, brands, comics, and games.”

“BigHead BASH is designed to bridge the gap between social-online and hardcore action games – targeting the magical ‘mid-core’,” said McGee

“Set in a toy shop, the game offers up an impressive collection of virtual toys and weapons for players to collect and fight.” he added.

You can sign up to take part in the BigHead Bash open beta here. The trailer is below.

There’s more beta testing news, and information on how it’s useful to developers andTrain2Game students, here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your initial thoughts about American McGee’s BigHead Bash? Will you take part in the open beta?

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

Train2Game News: Quantic Dream “unhappy with everything” about Heavy Rain says David Cage

Heavy Rain Train2Game blog image

Heavy Rain may have been rather successful, even scooping three BAFTAs, but that doesn’t mean developer Quantic Dream is satisfied with what they produced. In fact, game director David Cage has admitted the team thinks they could’ve done better.

“We were pretty much unhappy with everything. We thought we could have done a better job in all areas, and have better rendering, and better visuals, and better gameplay, and better everything,”  Quantic Dream boss David Cage told Gamasutra in an extensive interview.

“This is definitely things we took into account designing the new technology, wanting to work with performance capture. And we wanted a better blend of storytelling and interactivity. We thought that sometimes in Heavy Rain there were moments where the balance wasn’t exactly right. We are working on new ways of merging this in a more natural and fluid way.” he added.

Heavy Rain did, however, sell well, something that Cage was satisfied with.

“I think it performed better than anyone’s expectations, including ours, to be honest,” he said.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Quantic Dream released their Kara tech demo earlier this year. It’s rumoured to lay the foundations for their next project, with suggestions it could be revealed at E3.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for more from Quantic Dream.

What are your thoughts on Cage’s comments about Heavy Rain? How important is it for developers to look at their work and examine what could be done better?

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

Train2Game News: Molyneux and Livingstone on next BAFTA Games Question Time panel

Peter Molyneux BAFTA Train2Game blog image

BAFTA Games Question Time returns on Tuesday 12th June, with the free event offering Train2Game students the chance to ask a panel of experts about the games industry.  The BAFTA panel will include Peter Molyneux OBE, Ian Livingstone OBE, Alice Taylor and David Bailey.

Peter Molyneux founded Lionhead and Bullfrog productions and was until recently Creative Director of Microsoft Games Europe.  He left to form startup 22 Cans. He recently appeared at Train2Game and Epic’s Make Something Unreal Live, mentoring Train2Game students as they built games.

As co-author of the Fighting Fantasy series, Ian Livingstone also played a huge part in Make Something Unreal Live, something he was “delighted” to have taken part in. He’s also Life President of Eidos, Vice Chairman of UKIE and co-chair of their Next Gen Skills Campaign.

Alice Taylor was previously VP Digital for BBC Worldwide, and commissioner of Channel 4 Education games, apps and web TV shows, Alice is the founder of MakieLab, a new company producing customisable, 3D-printed, game-enabled toys.

Dave Bailey  is co-founder of Mediatonic, a studio based in central London whose team of around 40 design high quality social and mobile games in partnership with media giants such as Disney, EA, Time Warner and Sony.

The event will be chaired by games industry journalist Johnny Minkley.

BAFTA Games Question time takes place on Tuesday 12th June from 18:30p.m. For more information, or to book free tickets for the event, visit the BAFTA website.

You can also submit questions for the event in advance viaevents@bafta.org, the hashtag #baftagamesQT .  It offers a great opportunity for Train2Game students to get advice from some of the best in the UK games industry.

There’s more BAFTA news here on The Train2Game Blog.

Will you attend BAFTA Games Question Time? What would you like to ask the panel?

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

Train2Game News: Metro: Last Light brand manager on getting into the industry

Those looking to move forward into the games industry need play a lot of video games, but need to do more than playing the big box office hits; they need to play independent titles too. That’s according to Metro: Last Light global brand manager Mark Madsen.

“Play the Hell out of video games, continue to gather your own opinion.” he told The Train2Game Blog when we asked his advice on getting into the industry at a recent press event by THQ.

“And while the mass market games are a lot of fun, just understand that you need to take those with a grain of salt. They drew their inspiration from elsewhere, and from elsewhere is where you should really get your gaming base.” he added.

The advice is somewhat similar to that of Mass Effect 3 senior writer John Dombrow, who previously said “You should play games all the time.”

Find out more about Metro: Last Light from our interview with senior producer John Block in which he discusses developing the game and offers his own advice on getting into the industry.  Metro: Last Light is scheduled for release early next year.

There’s more advice from industry professionals on getting into the industry here on The Train2Game Blog.

As usual, leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game industry experience diaries: Will Alexander at AppCrowd – week 12

Train2Game Artist Will Alexander is his final week of aTrain2Game work placement at AppCrowd. In his final industry experience diary from AppCrowd, Will discusses finalising projects and his hopes for the future.

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

There are plenty more Train2Game student industry diaries here.

Train2Game News: The Creative Assembly to make Total War announcement at Rezzed developer session

Shogun 2 Total War

Total War studio The Creative Assembly will be hosting a developer session at PC and indie games show Rezzed, which is sure to be of interest to anyone on a Train2Game course.

The presentation will celebrate the studio’s 25 year history and will feature an exclusive first look at the future of Total War.

“This year, The Creative Assembly is celebrating a quarter of a century making games,” said Total War lead designer James Russell.

“I’ll be at Rezzed giving a talk on the making of the Total War series, and showing a sneak peek of what we’re doing next. Exciting times – see you there!”

The Creative Assembly recently released a free map editor for Shogun 2: Total War.

Rezzed takes place in Brighton on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th July with day the price of day tickets £12, or £20 for both days. There’s more information here.

Other games available to see at Rezzed include Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and more, in addition to a number of developer sessions.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest updates about Rezzed, while there’s more from The Creative Assembly here.

Will you be attending Rezzed? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

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

Train2Game News: “We’re in gaming in a fairly big way” and will only get bigger say Apple

Apple is a big player in the games industry and will only get bigger, but isn’t interested in producing a console. That’s according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“I view that we are in gaming now in a fairly big way.” Steve Jobs successor told AllThingsD.

“One of the reasons people buy an iPod touch is gaming. Some buy it for music. I realize that is not the big screen you are talking about. Gaming has kind of evolved a bit. More people play on portable devices. Where we might go in the future, we’ll see. Customers love games.” Cook continued.

“I’m not interested in being in the console business in what is thought of as traditional gaming, but Apple is a big player today, and things in the future will only make that bigger.” he added.

Mobile gaming has provided a huge platform for game developers to work on, with many independent studios focusing on iPhone or Android games.  Indeed, four Train2Game student teams will soon see their own games based on the Fighting Fantasy series published on the iTunes App Store.

Valve CEO Gabe Newell has previously stated that he believes Apple will launch a living room product that’ll make consoles “disappear”

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest iPhone and Apple gaming news.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s position in gaming? Do you believe they’ll stick to mobile? Or will they make move for consoles after all?

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

Train2Game News: THQ appoint Naughty Dog founder Jason Rubin as president, Danny Bilson leaves

Publisher THQ has appointed Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin as new president of the company, with EVP of Core Games Danny Bilson leaving his position in the company.

“Jason’s proven track record in the industry speaks for itself, and he is one of the brightest minds in the business,” said THQ Chairman and CEO Brian Farrell.

“We believe he can be a game changer and can contribute immensely to executing on our strategy of delivering quality connected core game experiences.”

“THQ has incredible internal and external game development teams, and an exciting slate of games in its development pipeline.” added new President Jason Rubin, who has developed games including Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Dexter.

“The recent transformation of THQ into a creator of wholly-owned IP has placed it in a perfect position to leverage future trends in the game business. I look forward to working with the management team and board to realize the company’s goals.” he said.

Along with Danny Bilson, SVP of Core Games Dave Davis is also leaving THQ who has been replaced by former Activision man Jason Kay.

“Danny has made significant contributions to THQ, and we thank him for his efforts,” said Farrell. “Along with Danny, Dave has been instrumental in getting our strong pipeline into production.”

Games currently in development to be published by THQ include Darksiders II, Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and WWE ’13.

There’s more news from THQ right here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the restructuring at THQ?

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