Train2Game News: Apple paying compensation over in-app purchases

Apple LogoApple have proposed to pay compensation to several parents for not making some of it’s in-app purchases more secure after minors had charged costs to their parents accounts. A judge will consider the proposal on 1 March.

The legal action dates back to April 2011 and allegations made by a California-based man that his youngest daughter had racked up a series of charges without his knowledge. Garen Meguerian said his nine-year-old’s actions had cost him approximately $200 after she bought game currencies within apps including Zombie Cafe, Treasury Story and City Story.

His lawyer noted that some titles in Apple’s store allowed children to buy more than $100 worth of items in a single click without entering a password. Apple took a cut of each in-app sale. The case was later combined with other parents making similar claims.

The issue has since been address with Apple now ensuring that a password is entered before each and every in-app purchase.

Apple acknowledged it would need to tell more than 23 million iTunes account holders they might qualify. Affected users would receive an email offering at least $5 (£3.20) in credit if they confirmed a minor had charged their account without permission, and that they had not already had the fee deleted after making a complaint.

Apple’s proposal suggests affected parties can:

  • Email in their details to qualify for a $5 iTunes credit
  •  Request the $5 in cash if they no longer have an iTunes account
  • Provide full details of each in-app purchase to be reimbursed in full in credit or cash, for totals of at least $30

Apple indicates it will give claimants 180 days to submit their requests and will also award Mr Meguerian and four other named plaintiffs an additional $1,500 service award.

The plaintiffs have accepted the proposal and it is now set to be signed off by a judge in San Jose’s courthouse on Friday.

Apple declined to comment when asked whether it might consider offering a similar deal to users outside the US.

Train2Game News: Games industry jobs – 27.02.13

The people at Aardvark Swift have very kindly sent over some more jobs for the Train2Game students to look through.

Junior/Graduate Gameplay Programmer

Our client is one of the UK’s Premier Games Developer. They have a stack of awards and an unrivalled sales track record to back their claims up. They are seeking a Graduate / Junior Programmer to join the Gameplay team

North West

Graduate Programmer

My client offers a relaxed and creatively charged atmosphere where talent can flourish. They pride themselves above all on the games they create and their appreciation of the people who create them.

Due to their recent success they are looking to add to their talented team with the addition of a Graduate Programmer

Yorkshire

Tools Programmer and Graduate Tools Programmer

Our client has been making games for more than 15 years. They now employ more than 150 people and have released games on major platforms like PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS. They also work with some Great IP’s and a variety of game types.

They are seeking a Tools Programmer or Graduate Tools Programmer to join their team developing technology at the core of all their productions

North West

Graduate Gameplay Programmer

Our client, the developer of award winning titles, are seeking highly skilled graduate to join their programming team as a Gameplay programmer working on a AAA title for next gen.

Cambridge

Train2Game News: Explore the world with your Wii U

Wii-Street-U

Coming to the Nintendo eShop on Wii U as a free download* today is a new application that brings Nintendo and Google together to allow users to travel the world using their Wii U GamePad controller. Wii Street U powered by Google offers the map data and 360° panoramic Street View images gathered by Google for a unique form of virtual exploration only possible on Wii U.

The Wii U GamePad is integrated with Street View in innovative and accessible ways: use the touch screen to type in exact addresses to fly to your favourite places, and thanks to the motion sensors inside the controller you can move it 360° to enjoy the entire view of sights around the world. The whole family can join in, as your 360° window on the world is displayed on the TV screen in the living room. Wander around wherever you fancy going or ask Nintendo to be your guide, with recommended places to visit built into the application for easy access.

The Wii U console from Nintendo has a Wii U GamePad controller which offers more choice and variety of gameplay than ever before. The Wii U GamePad offers an integrated second screen and can also be used independently of the TV set with certain software; it also features motion controls, an inbuilt camera, microphone and stylus for more detailed touch screen controls.

Street View is a popular feature of Google Maps that allows users to virtually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic street-level images. In order to provide such 360° panoramic imagery, Google developed their own camera systems and now have a number of platforms for capturing imagery. The most common of course is the Street View car but they also have Snowmobiles and Tricycles, and most recently, they introduced the Trekker, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top. Since being launched in 2007, Street View imagery is now available for more than 3,000 cities across 47 countries and even includes a slice of Antarctica.

Wii Street U powered by Google launches across Europe for Wii U today and is free to download for a limited time* via the Nintendo eShop, so grab your Wii U GamePad and enjoy exploring the world and many other Wii U games from the comfort of your home.

You can view the application in action in the video below

* The application is free to download for a limited time and will be available only as a paid download afterwards. The application is currently planned to be available for download and use until 31st March 2016.

For further details:

Wii U website http://wiiu.co.uk

Nintendo eShop website http://www.nintendo.co.uk/eshop

Wii U (UK) on Facebook http://facebook.com/WiiU.co.uk

Nintendo UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendouk

Nintendo UK on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/NintendoUK

Train2Game News: Injustice Gods Among us choose your winner! – Week 3

Green Arrow and Solomon GrundyTrain2Game is bringing you the results of the Injustice: Gods Among us battle arena for week 3!

You can now witness the ferocity of this week’s battles by watching two all-new videos featuring the first extended gameplay of Aquaman, Green Lantern, Solomon Grundy and Cyborg.

Aquaman faced Cyborg in a showdown of slick gadgetry versus aquatic prowess, while Green Lantern battled Solomon Grundy in a brutal matchup of raw strength and spacefaring technology. You can witness the results in the videos below showing the energetic action featuring the DC Stars.

Following those two epic battles you can now vote for the winners of week four of the tournament which is the last week of the quarter finals!

This week’s challengers include none other than the Man of Steel himself, Superman, who will need to call upon all of his Kryptonian strength as he faces the master of fear and leader of the Yellow Lanterns, Sinestro. Rounding out this week’s matchups, the always vigilant archer, Green Arrow, faces off against the immortal and acrobatic Hawkgirl.

You can view these all-new Injustice Battle Arena videos, analyzing each contender’s strengths and offering celebrity commentary on the matches, below

To cast your vote, visit: http://ema.io/MzAz or voice you opinion via Facebook, YouTube or Twitter and join the debate!

Train2Game News: Make Something Unreal Live winners game comes to app store

Warlock of Firetop MountainTrain2Game Student studio and Make Something Unreal Live 2012 winners, Commando Kiwi, have released their first game on to the app store.

The game, Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters, was created by the students in their spare time for last years Make Something Unreal Live contest, held by Epic. The game was created using the UDK software and is based on the very first Fighting Fantasy novel, Warlock of Firetop Mountain which was written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson.

The studio, which consists of Cat Forsyth, Martyn Whittel, Tom Chipchase, Jonny Robinson, Ashley Taylor, Adam Sherratt, Aaron Reeve, Andrew Smallwood, Tom Constable and Ezekiel Morris, have been working on the game since the beginning of 2012.

The students won the competition after demonstrating their game to a number of industry professionals, including Peter Molyneux, Cliff Bleszinski and Jon Hare. The final descision was that of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson who decided Commando Kiwi’s game best captured the essence of Fighting Fantasy.

The game is a third person action game which puts you in the shoes of the adventurer who is travelling through the deadly Firetop Mountain in search of the fabled treasure of the all-powerful Warlock. The game features enemies and locations from the classic book with a battle system based on the system from the book its self. The unique combat system based uses skill and luck combinations made famous by the series of novels in an intuitive Active Time Battle System.

The game is available for free to download now from the app store.

You can re-live the Commando Kiwi story in the video below:

Train2Game News: Play As A Pokémon In 3D

Pokémon Mystery DungeonPokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates To Infinity To Be Launched Across Europe On 17th May

The popular Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series appears in vibrant and colourful 3D for the first time on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL

The European launch of the all-new Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity game on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL introduces a vast world populated only by Pokémon. Here, you too have become a Pokémon and can choose to play as Pikachu, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, or Axew as the game makes its European debut on 17th May 2013.

It is your mission to battle your way through Mystery Dungeons that have sprung up across this world, and to uncover a fiendish plot that threatens your new home and its Pokémon inhabitants. No dungeon will appear in the same way twice, so an infinite number of possibilities can unfold.  

In this new game, players can discover Mystery Dungeons accessible only through Magnagates, mysterious portals activated when the Nintendo 3DS system’s cameras are used to scan round objects in the real world, such as footballs or clock faces. Once a Magnagate is discovered, the player becomes a different Pokémon to step through it and tackle the Mystery Dungeon that lies beyond. Items and money that players receive through successfully completing a dungeon revealed by a Magnagate can be used in the main adventure, too.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity also introduces wireless multiplayer features, allowing as many as four people to work together to battle through dungeons.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity will be available at retail and also as a download on Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL from 17th May. For more information, visit: www.pokemon.co.uk/MysteryDungeon.


For more information:
Official
Pokémon UK Website: http://www.pokemon.com/uk
Nintendo 3DS Guided Tour:
http://guidedtour.nintendo.co.uk

Nintendo 3DS on Facebook: https://facebook.com/Nintendo3DSUK

Nintendo UK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nintendouk

Nintendo UK on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/nintendouk

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 game charts – 25.02.13

Crysis 3Crysis 3 knocks last week’s number 1 Aliens: Colonial Marines down to number 5, debuting ahead of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance which begins life at number 2. Two new entries at number 1 and 2 is a first for 2013. Four out of the eight UK All Formats number 1’s so far this year are represented by 3 different EA titles.

All formats
Week ending 23 February 2013
POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 CRYSIS 3 EA GAMES
2 METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE KONAMI
3 FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 3
4 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 4
5 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA 1
6 DEAD SPACE 3 EA GAMES 2
7 FAR CRY 3 UBISOFT 5
8 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 7
9 ASSASSIN’S CREED III UBISOFT 6
10 HITMAN ABSOLUTION SQUARE ENIX 11
11 JUST DANCE 4 UBISOFT 8
12 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 12
13 SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED SEGA 9
14 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS 13
15 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 15
16 HALO 4 MICROSOFT 10
17 LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 16
18 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV XBOX 360 CLASSICS 20
19 THE SIMS 3 EA GAMES
20 FORZA MOTORSPORT 4 MICROSOFT

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game News: Chimpact competition!

ChimpactIt could be you! Realise your dream of creating the next big gaming character

Yippee! Entertainment launches competition to design a chimp to join Chuck’s family in Chimpact

Calling all: crayonists, felt tippers, doodlers, painters, artists, designers, games animation enthusiasts and children who like to draw on their parent’s walls. Yippee! Entertainment is launching a competition to design a character to feature in the Windows version of its on-going games series; Chimpact. Entries are required to create a chimp similar to those in the game and any level of artistic ability will be considered for the top prize.

The competition is open from the 25th February to the 12th April. The final judging decision will be made on the 3rd May. Entrants can be submitted in physical form in the UK or digitally; drawings, photos or any type of picture, will be accepted. Though in the US, only digital images can be submitted via the competition’s website.

The competition is open to all ages and backgrounds: enthusiasts, students, gamers, artists, children of any age and even grandparents, anyone in the UK and the US can enter. Winning entries will be chosen from both the UK and the US and will appear in respective versions of the game. The winners will be decided by the Yippee! Entertainment team and the judging criteria will include: Originality, Use of Colour and costume design.

The winning competition entries will be created by the Yippee Entertainment team and put into future versions of Chimpact on Windows 8 and Windows Phone via an update. The UK based winner will have the opportunity to visit the Yippee! Entertainment studio in Manchester, to see how the game is made and to meet the team.

Full details of the competition and submit your entry, here: www.chimpact.com/competition

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chimpact

Twitter: @chimpact_chuck

Chimpact is currently available on the Windows 8 store here

Train2Game News: Games news round up – 22.02.13

Barack Obama speaks at the Rodon Group in PennsylvaniaIt’s the end of the week so Train2Game News will bring you some of the news stories of the week!

United States president, Barack Obama, revealed he was in favour of computer programming lessons in schools as part of a Google+ discussion. He said computers and videogames excited youngsters and spurred them on to learn. He referred to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, saying he taught himself to program due to his interest in games. He said he wanted people to understand the principles involved in a career in videogames such as maths, science and design.

Following the troubles THQ had they have sold the rights to the WWE video game series to 2K. 2K are more than familiar with sports titles having previously developed the entire NBA series of games since 2011. The series, which will continue to be developed by Yukes in Japan and will combine the studio’s signature gameplay with 2K’s commitment to authenticity in this years WWE ’14.

In addition 2K Games and Irrational Games today announced that production of downloadable content has recently begun for their forthcoming BioShock Infinite and revealed details of the BioShock Infinite Season Pass. Three all-new add-on packs are in development that will provide hours of additional gameplay and continue the player’s journey in the sky-city of Columbia with new stories, characters, abilities and weapons. The BioShock Infinite Season Pass will be available on March 26, 2013 when the game is planned to launch.

Despite Sony showing the currently-available PS Move controller being used with PS4 during the console’s unveiling event on Wednesday, the firm says the new console will not support the use of the standard DualShock 3 controller. The reasons are unclear since the DS3 controller uses the same industry-standard Bluetooth 2.0 tech as the Move controller to connect with PS3, which suggests PS4 will have Bluetooth 2.0 capabilities.

Commander Shepard’s story is finally coming to an end with the announcement of the last bit of single player DLC. Available on March 5th, Mass Effect: Citadel will see Shepard “explore and discover new locations across the vast, deep-space station” while reconnecting with some recognizable characters from the series past. Mass Effect was truly a great game, a save game that lasted six years across three games. Commander Shepard and the crew of the Normandy shall be missed.

Train2Game News: Smart device games outselling handheld

Smart devicesGames on smart devices are outselling games on Nintendo and Sony handheld consoles. This is excellent news for Train2Game students looking to break in to the industry.

The final quarter of the year’s sales are normally the best for devices such as the 3DS and VITA, thanks to all the package deals around Christmas time. This time however iOS and Android games completely eclipsed the games sales of the consoles.

A breakdown of the data also indicates that iOS games made three-and-a-half times more money than Android ones over the period but Android games are growing at a faster rate.

The data covers global sales between October and December 2012 and comes despite the fact that games for the PlayStation Vita and 3DS typically cost more than their smartphone equivalents. In-game ad revenues were excluded.

Despite the findings, the researchers said they believed the Japanese firms would release further handhelds.

The Portable Gaming Report by IDC and App Annie is the first of its kind produced by the companies. It helps build on NPD’s influential monthly study of US games sales which does not include smartphone and tablet games.

IDC’s Lewis Ward said “If you rewind the clock a year you will find the dedicated handhelds were clearly ahead, and this year they are more or less tied with an edge going to Android and iOS games.

“If we fast forward to the end of 2013 we should see a decisive edge for smartphone and tablet gaming.

“I think a further version of the Vita could be the last dedicated handheld from Sony, but I suspect Nintendo will continue for a while. They are three to four times as large as Sony in this business and I think they have a much more defensible niche.”

All this data is good news for Train2Game students as the mobile market is much easier to develop for than the console market and with the mobile market growing to even bigger and better heights there should be more chance of developing a financially successful game.