Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Amy Methven

Amy MethvenTrain2Game radio spoke to Amy Methven today about what inspires her art and how she got involved with Road Hog Game studios.

You can listen to part 1 here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1087762-train2game-student-amy-methven-on-train2game-student-radio-part-1

And part 2 here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1087758-train2game-student-amy-methven-on-train2game-student-radio-part-2

or read the transcript below

My name is Amy Methven, I live in Elgin, Scotland and I’m doing the Art & Animation course.

Hi Amy, What’s your story? What are the past experiences that have shaped your life and made you who you are now?

Well all the way through High School, the only thing I really enjoyed doing was drawing and I would get in to all sorts of trouble for doodling and I only ever enjoyed doing art at school, it was the only thing I was ever really good at. It was all I thought about, the first thing I thought about when I woke up and the last thing I thought about before I went to bed. Just enjoying playing Video Games and various movies just inspired me to sit and draw my favourite characters. As I grew older I developed more of a passion for it and started to research the people who actually created these characters that inspired me and being very passionate about wanting to create things. Whether it’s through traditional painting or building sculptures is what I am all about really.

So what are some of the artist that inspire you to get into the Video Game industry?

There are a lot of concept artist that I love but the actual artists that got me in to the Video Games industry wasn’t actually anything to do with Video Games to be honest with you. I love surrealism, like Salvador Dali and all that kind of stuff. Looking at that kind of stuff and obviously because Salvador Dali did a little bit of animation as well, looking at the stuff and seeing it brought to life, that inspires me. Just being able to characterize and any form of animation and being able to interact with it through Video Games really inspires me.

So I know you are also working as part of a studio, with other Train2Game students, how did that studio form?

Well basically it started when I joined Train2Game, I started to put my artwork on to the forums and added a link to my online portfolio, just to let other students see what I was up to and then, through that I got various people messaging me to just chat about art in general and then I got a message from Gareth Brook asking if I would be interested in joining his team and I said yes, for definite. So that was quite out of the blue only been doing the course for 2 months and I am already involved in an up and coming studio, it’s just brilliant.

Did you get more offers from people other than Gareth or was it just Gareth that offered you?

It was just Gareth, the other people that got in touch were just other students who were just getting to know each other through the forums. But yeah he was the only one who got in touch with me about working together.

Tell me about the project you are working on at the minute with the studio?

The studio is called Road Hog and at the moment we have currently just started work on our first project and we are getting through it quite quickly actually. It’s called Little Green Dude or LGD and its basically based on the Video Game, Pong, from the 1970’s but with a modern twist on it and that is what this studio is aiming to do. Take retro gaming and modernise them. It’s going really well, I’m really enjoying it.

Why do you think you’ve taken the retro thing and taken it to the modern thing? Is that something you have all been passionate about?

We are really passionate gamers anyway but retro gaming is definitely my background, I played a lot of retro games. We had an Atari system so the very first game I played was one of the very first games ever released which was Pong but I did also play games like Pacman and Space Invaders and all that. That’s where it all started so it is really good to take those games and modernise them for both casual gamers and hardcore gamers.

What are you aiming to release Little Green Dude on? What Platform are you aiming for?

It’s aimed for Android and PC as well.

Yeah, is it going for a Windows 8 release?

Yeah.

Are you going to enter in to the competition that Windows are doing, do you know?

Yeah we are doing that, yeah, for definite.

What is the most dramatic or exciting thing you have done in your life?

Probably joining the Train2Game course! Before that I went to art school for 5 years studying contemporary, fine art. I am passionate about both traditional and digital stuff it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do with my life, just exhibiting art work in galleries and things like that, I really wanted to work in the gaming industry or film industry doing concept art and things like that. So I have to say up to this point, joining the Train2Game course is probably the biggest thing to happen, for the art side anyway.

What is your greatest ambition, where do you want to go with your career?

I want to go as far as I can. I want to just keep creating things for the industry and just have an outlet for my art work because for such a long time I didn’t really have a proper outlet. With various jobs that I’ve had it was quite boring jobs that had nothing to do with art, house keeping and cleaning and things like that. My life in general is to make sure I have some sort of outlet for my art work, I don’t really want to settle. So I just really want to go as far as I can with this. Just to see where it takes me really.

Is there any studio in particular that you would love to work for?

Well I have just started working with Road Hog so I would like to keep working with them for as long as I can!

Finally, where can people keep up to date with Road Hog Game news? Have you got a Facebook site?

Yeah we have a Facebook page set up, it’s: www.Facebook.com/RoadHogGames we will be uploading all sorts of updates on to that shortly.

Thank you very much for your time Amy, its been great!

No problem, thanks very much.

Train2Game News: Walkers come to iOS

Walking DeadTomorrow will see the launch of another Walking Dead game, this time based on the highly successful comic book series by Robert Kirkman.

The Walking Dead: Assault, developed by Gamagio Ltd., in collaboration with Skybound and Skybound Asia will be released on all iOS devices tomorrow morning at 8am on the itunes app store.

The game kicks off in the same way that the comics and TV series did with Sheriff Rick Grimes waking up in a hospital with no idea what is happening or where anyone is, from there, players will revisit famous locations from early in the series, including travelling through Atlanta and the camp-site. The game has a beautiful look that is pulled straight from the pages of the book, everything looks like the comic, even the font.

The game will allow players to assemble and upgrade their ultimate team of four characters, with many fan favourites represented, such as Rick, Lori, Carl, Glenn, Shane, Andrea, Carol, Sophia and Dale. Each will have unique abilities that players can capitalise on, and game play includes distracting walkers using flares and car alarms. There will also be four levels of difficulty. Completing bonus objectives and challenges will unlock additional content, including artwork, wallpapers and behind-the-scenes trivia from The Walking Dead. Game Centre is also integrated, with achievements and leaderboards.

Assault is optimised for the iPhone 5 retina display and is automatically enhanced for iPad.

This game joins the ever growing franchise joining the likes of the comics, TV series, Telltales Episodic games and Activision’s upcoming The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct which follows the story of Daryl and Merle Dixon.

Train2Game News: New IP from Bungie

The next game from Halo creator, Bungie, has been leaked onto the internet. The project had been one of publisher Activision’s most closely guarded secrets.

The game is going to be called “Destiny” and it is planned to have a universe as deep and rich as the Star Wars universe.

Activision has previously told investors that the game would be “genre-defining” and prove to be one of its two “largest growth opportunities” over coming years, alongside the Call of Duty series.

Following the leak, Bungie reproduced one of the images on its own site and confirmed the leak’s authenticity.

The game will be set 700 years in the future, and feature battles with aliens to protect the “last city on Earth” after the collapse of mankind’s efforts to colonise the Solar System.

Microsoft has said it has plans for at least another two Halo games. Its most recent sequel, Halo 4, was created by its own subsidiary 343 Industries. The series as a whole has generated more than £2.1bn in revenues to date.

Pier Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS Screen Digest said “You can never have sure bets and the risks involved with creating new IP [intellectual property] are always relatively high, but to have a studio like Bungie involved reduces the risk considerably for Activision due to its incredible track record

“I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of it at E3 [games conference] in June where games like this can be shown in a satisfying way.”

Train2Game student studios including FormerDroid and Global Empire Soft sign up to Microsoft BizSpark

As part of Train2Game’s on-going support for students, indie studios which include Train2Game students are taking advantage of Train2Game’s connection to Microsoft BizSpark to receive free software and support from Microsoft’s small business support network.

With Train2Game is an official partner on the BizSpark network, the Train2Game PR team are available to support and advise on signing up with to the program. It’s free to join, though studios are required to register as a company and have their own website. The scheme gives students access to an array of software which can affectively let them publish games as professional studios.

Fiona Stewart, Train2Game student and Managing Director, FormerDroid said: “Working with BizSpark is a great chance to receive the latest Microsoft software and support from a network of skilled technical experts. FormerDroid are already developing with the platform and we’d encourage Train2Game student studios to do the same.”

Richard Hoffmann, Train2Game student and CEO,Global Empire Soft, said: “It’s tremendous to have the support of Microsoft behind us as we look to release titles onto Windows 8 Mobile, its support will be invaluable. Thanks Train2Game for making it happen for GlobalEmpire Soft!”

Jan Telensky, Train2Game, said: “At Train2Game our main aim is to get our students into the games industry. With our friends at Microsoft, our students can now start their own professional studios with help from the fast track system in place to gain acceptance to BizSpark. This relationship enables the new generation of entrepreneurial studios to kick start their way into the gaming industry – which is a testament to the efforts of the entire Train2Game team!”

For more information about signing up with BizSpark contact the Train2Game PR team via:

harry@swanpr.co.uk

Train2Game News: Mid-week Round up – 28.11.12

Good news for PlayStation Plus subscribers! For the festive season Sony are adding a number of new games including: Batman: Arkham City, LIMBO and Vanquish. All the games are added to the PlayStation Plus service on December 5.

Nintendo are offering a similar service where new and existing owners of the 3DS XL who register before January 15, 2013 will be able to download one of five games from the eShop. The titles on offer are Super Mario 3D Land, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, New Art Academy, New Style Boutique and Freakyforms Deluxe.

Take Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has announced that the Grand Theft Auto series has shipped over 125 million games since its debut on on the original PSOne. Zelnick put the series’ continued success down to the firm’s refusal to annualise as Activision has with Call of Duty.

Microsoft has announced that they have sold over 750,000 Xbox360’s over the Black Friday week. Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription sales also saw a surge of more than 50 per cent compared to last years Black Friday week, and US entertainment application hours logged on Xbox LIVE during the week of Black Friday was up 43 per cent over last year.

Microsoft has announced sales of 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the operating system’s launch month but 40 million licenses sold does not mean there are now 40 million Windows 8 users. Countless numbers of licences are bought up by hardware manufacturers for future use in new machines.

Dishonored is, clearly, a new franchise, publisher Bethesda has said. Sales of the Arkane-developed first-person action game are above expectations, Bethesda marketing chief Pete Hines told Destructoid, and so publisher Bethesda has added it to its stable of franchises, which includes Fallout, Elder Scrolls and Doom. In the UK Dishonored entered the chart at number two following its October release. It was kept off top spot by FIFA 13, but is the biggest launch for a new IP so far in 2012 (a title previously held by Sleeping Dogs). This record was achieved despite UK numbers company Chart-Track not counting digital copies sold.

Train2Game News: Game Industry Jobs – 28.11.12

DEVELOPER

Job Title Tools Programmer

Job Category Programming

Location Midlands, UK, Oxford

Job Description My client is a leading game developer with offices in 3 different locations. With over 30 million downloads of their games to date, they are one of the fastest growing social mobile publishers on iOS and Android.

Focussing on creating innovative ultra-high-quality titles, using their own proprietary technology and with their cutting-edge art and design teams, their standards are second to none – making their entire work original, never copied.

Due to their continued success they are now looking for a Software Engineer / C++ Tool Developer to help build their content creation pipeline.

The ideal candidate will have developed software that is used by artists in a production environment in the games industry.

Candidates without relevant experience who meet the other requirements are still encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities:

– Work with artists and engineers to design and implement software features and applications

– Work on our existing 3D rendering systems to produce new tools

– Contribute to software reviews and product documentation

Skills / experience required:

– Experience of Mel script

– Knowledge of 3d Maths

– Experience with real-time 3D graphics techniques (OpenGL or DirectX)

Also Desirable:

– Experience with common modelling / texturing / animation techniques

– A good understanding of concurrency

– A good understanding of UI design

– Application scripting experience in C#, Lua, MEL or Python

For more information or to apply for this role please contact Sam Keywood direct on:  01709 834777  or at: sam@aswift.com

DESIGN

Job Title Car Handling Designer

Job Category Game Design

Location Midlands, Midlands

Job Description: Are you someone who is fanatical about cars? Do you have a Mechanical, Engineering or Software background? This is a brilliant opportunity to take your passion and use it to kick-start a career in the Games Industry!

This role is for a leading UK studio that have already shown their high calibre with their first major release going straight to No. 1! They develop big budget titles aimed at a truly global audience. The studio is both young and dynamic and gives you the opportunity to work on AAA games!

The studio is looking for a Car Handling designer who will be responsible for using proprietary tools to create authentic, believable and fun vehicle handling for licensed cars. You will research, implement and tune each car, ensuring it handles in-game in the same way it does in the real world.

You must be very passionate about cars and car culture, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the auto industry. In addition, you must have a strong working knowledge of vehicle mechanics and car setup.

You must be flexible, highly motivated, meticulous and a fast learner.

You should have:

•Excellent communication skills

•Strong Computer Software skills

•Demonstrable game design skills

•An excellent knowledge of cars, tuning and car culture

•An excellent working knowledge of, and a real passion for, the racing genre

•A genuine passion for games

This is an opportunity to join a highly experienced team and help shape the core experience of a genre-leading game.

The studio is located in a very sought after area of the UK. They will offer a competitive salary and great benefits. If you or anyone you know is interested feel free to contact me and send your CV to richard.balding@amiqus.com .

ART

Job Title 3D Artist (Games)

Job Category Art / Animation

Location London

Job Description We are looking for a passionate multi-skilled artist to join our growing dedicated games team in our London studio.

The ustwo™ games team is looking to build on its success with Whale Trail and release new titles for iOS and Android with stand-out production values, heart and broad appeal.

The company prides itself on allowing staff the opportunity to grow by offering an environment in which staff can produce the best work of their careers. We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate their desire to shine and grow in an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration.

If you are a talented and passionate artist who wants to be part of an exciting team then join us and help make games for the world to love.

Job requirements

  • Excellent 3D modeling, texturing and animation skills
  • Strong 2D visualisation skills
  • Ability to work in a range of styles
  • Experience creating game assets.
  • Excellent communication skills with a friendly and positive demeanor
  • Highly motivated and driven to make stand-out games
  • Interest in variety of art styles and influences
  • Passion for gaming

You can apply by emailing work@ustwo.co.uk

QA

Job Title: QA Tester

Job Category: QA

Location: Oxford

Job Description:

NaturalMotion, is looking for a tester to work on its upcoming mobile platform titles. This is a full time, contract position with an expected minimum duration of 3 months.

Daily duties will include testing and reporting issues discovered, working to use and improve test cases and working with small, project-based teams to ensure efficient testing throughout a project’s life.

While extensive testing experience is ideal, it is not strictly necessary and a little testing experience combined with enthusiasm and additional transferable skills is welcome and there will be a chance to learn and train with the testing team.

Testing will cover such areas as the user interface, menu items, inspecting the 3D assets for errors, gameplay, progression, and all other non-gameplay areas in addition to the game itself. Diligence and the ability to commit to repetitive tasks will be required in these roles.

Requirements:

– Excellent verbal and written English skills as you will be required to communicate with staff from all disciplines (both technical and non-technical) and to write clear bug reports.

– Self-motivation and enthusiasm.

– Diligence in conducting sometimes-repetitive tests and bug isolation.

– Ability to quickly learn new software tools.

– Knowledge of current generation games and hardware.

– Knowledge and use of mobile platforms (such as iOS and Android)

– Previous experience of software testing (including mobile and/or social games)

Desirable additional Skills/Experience:

– Experience of software testing on several different titles.

– Familiarity with testing on the iOS and Android platforms.

– Experience in using bug-tracking and test management tools.

– Experience testing in an Agile environment.

– Understanding of and design of Test Cases.

-Working knowledge of a programming or scripting languages

You can apply HERE.

Train2Game News: Eurogamer 2012 Video

At the end of September Train2Game were at Eurogamer held in London’s Earls Court.

Below is the video from the event which has interviews with several students talking about their experiences with Train2Game and the Microsoft world record winning Game Jam.

Train2Game News: Jason Bradbury praises Surface

Jason Bradbury spoke to The Sun to compare the Microsoft Surface to Apples iPad.

Mr Bradbury said: “It’s a lot less expensive than the iPad, if you compare like for like, and you get a touchscreen version of Windows 8, as well as a traditional Windows operating system.

“It also comes with a very innovative cover-slash-keyboard, which is one of the thinnest I’ve ever used. It’s only 3mm thick, and it really is exceptionally good.

“So what you’re getting is something that’s about the same size as the iPad, which is less expensive, has Office software, a relatively normal desktop operating system, and a keyboard.”

“Whether you’re a road warrior or a student, you don’t want to be touch-typing your 2,500 word essay, or your pitch.”

Jason also claims Microsoft’s tablet has the edge when it comes to design which was the traditional strong point of Apple’s tablets.

He explained: “The iPad used to be elegant and beautiful, but now it’s a little bit dated as a design, it hasn’t really evolved a great deal.”

Jason Bradbury will be in London this week for The Gadget Show live in London which will give people a chance to try out a Nintendo Wii U before its launch on Friday. As well as an array of new technology, The Gadget Show Live is set to feature a theatrical spectacular.

Running from November 30 and December 2, gadget fans can watch the TV star operating flying robots, driving a remote control car around an enormous loop-the-loop, and being towed on a skateboard at 30mph..

More information and tickets can be found at www.gadgetshowlive.net.

Train2Game News: Steam hits 6 million users

For our friends across the sea, it was Thanksgiving weekend last weekend. This is a time for family, being thankful and apparently Steam.

The digital distribution service from Valve managed to hit over 6 million users. The amount of players peaked at around 11:00 PST Sunday with 6,045,912 users logged on. This was probably due to the Autumn Sale and the waves of numerous major releases such as PlanetSide 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

That is concurrent logins however, not active game sessions—while games define the vanguard of Steam’s excellence, the numbers rise from simply having the program launched and running.

Looking at the Steam Graph Chart of what people are playing shows a fair spread across PC gaming’s most popular genres. Dota 2′s beta boasted a little over 170,000 simultaneous players late on Saturday, while football-sim Football Manager 2013′s surprising strength topped at around 60,000. On Sunday night Black Ops 2 spiked at 51,000 soldiers, and PlanetSide 2′s fight for Auraxia swelled to 30,000 Steam conscripts last night. Lastly, as many as 15,000 stone-faced killers were concurrently shoving sharp metal objects into various people in Assassin’s Creed 3.

It was only in January that Steam hit a then-high of five million concurrent users. To hit six within the same year shows just how popular the service and gaming is getting.

Train2Game News: Minecraft coming to Raspberry Pi

The creators of Minecraft, Mojang, have developed a version of their hit game which can be loaded onto the Raspberry Pi.

Minecon was held in Paris last weekend and the news was announced that Minecraft: Pi edition will be released.

The Pi edition was developed by reworking the phone based, Minecraft: Pocket Edition. Mojang began work on this after the creators of the Raspberry Pi sent them a bunch of boards to work on a little while back.

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science.

The port will have a revised feature set and support for several programming languages, allowing users to code directly into the game, opening a world of possibilities.

Mojang’s chief officer Owen Hill said “The possibilities are massive,

“You could organise the cheapest LAN party of all time, or use the Pi to learn the fundamentals of programming on a minuscule budget.

“It’s like hacking your way into Minecraft and modifying the game world with code, a bit like being Notch, Jeb, or Nathan, but arguably more fun and less stressful.”

The site states Minecraft: Pi Edition will be available for free “very soon”.