Train2Game News: BioShock Infinite DLC leak

Bioshock InfiniteReports have emerged of a leak on Linkedin revealing a new companion for the next BioShock Infinite DLC.

The Linkedin profile of 2k’s animator Michael Shanan let the information slip but it has since been edited. The DLC has already been announced so that isn’t a suprise but the news of a new companion is new information.

The DLC will apparently contain “hours of additional gameplay and continue the player’s journey in the sky-city of Columbia with new stories, characters, abilities and weapons”.

Given that, it’s possible that this ‘new’ AI companion will be a replacement for Elizabeth. Her travelling through the game was such a key mechanic that it’s hard to see how they could ask us to play through Columbia’s skyways without someone to toss over health and ammo at key moments. It’s all speculation of course, since this hint was clearly not meant to reach the ears of the gaming press, and information has not yet been released.

My theory is that the DLC will follow the story of one of the other characters in the game, just as the Dishonored DLC followed the story of the assassin Daud. There are several other characters the DLC could follow including the leader of the Vox Populi – Daisy Fitzroy, the old solider – Cornelius Slate or possibly even Lord Comstock himself.

I look forward to seeing what they do with the DLC and will most certainly be purchasing it. You can pick up a 3-for-2 price offer and get the season pass in order to pick up all three pieces of future DLC.

Train2Game News: Pirates taste their own medicine

Game Dev TycoonYesterday saw the release of Game Dev Tycoon, the debut title from developers Greenheart Games. The game in it’s self sounds interesting but the way it has fought piracy is amazing.

Studio founder Patrick Klug decided to pre-empt pirates and he put out a cracked copy of the game himself. He used it to teach pirates a lesson by “holding a mirror in front of them and showing them what piracy can do to game developers.”

The idea of the game, as the name suggests, is to run your own games development studio. Creating games, researching hardware and moving from generation to generation. Those who downloaded the cracked version however will run in to difficulty in about the PS2 generation, where their games will start to be pirated. They’ll see their studio finances dwindle as piracy bleeds out their balance until the point of bankruptcy.

The reactions Mr Klug has found from people pirating his game range from the amusing: “Is there some way to avoid that? I mean can I research DRM or something …” to the depressingly unaware: “Why are there so many people that pirate? It ruins me!”

The sad part of this story comes when you  know of the people playing the newly released game, around 93% are using the cracked version, with just under 7% having to chosen to pay the fee of $7.99. Mr Klug also details the various ways he’s tried to reach out and speak with pirates about the harm they’re causing his studio, yet it seems the stronger message will be the one coded into the game.

Klug leaves you with this final thought “If years down the track you wonder why there are no games like these anymore and all you get to play is pay-to-play and social games designed to suck money out of your pockets then the reason will stare back at you in the mirror.”

Train2Game News: Batman: Arkham Origins details and screenshots

Batman Arkham OriginsIn the new issue of Games Master magazine speak to WB Montreal, the studio behind the Arkham prequel. They discuss the approach to crafting a different Dark Knight and offers some insight into features that didn’t make the cut.

Warner has confirmed the Batman: Arkham Origins release date as October 25 for consoles and PC. There is also a few new screens from the game which can be seen in the gallery at the bottom of this article.

According to a recent report, Arkham Origins will have a multiplayer mode, making it the first in the series to include it.

Here are the new details as reported in Games Master:

  • Batman: Arkham Origins is the story behind “how the unrefined, rough-around-the-edges, early career Batman” becomes Dark Knight
  • Batman and Captain Gordon meet for the first time during the events of Arkham Origins
  • Senior producer Ben Mattes says there are elements to the story that they will never discuss before the game has shipped
  • Batman in Arkham Origins has the moves and the abilities, but hasn’t faced the challenges that shape him into the Batman we know. Arkham City Batman is described as Batman 5.0, while Arkham Origins Batman is 0.9.
  • It’s “year two” of Batman’s career, roughly speaking
  • WB Montreal has been given everything Rocksteady had, from engine tweaks to concept art.
  • It plays exactly like Arkham City
  • At one point the HUD included a storm indicator. Since Origins takes place during a snowstorm, it provided warning of incoming wind blasts. However, it negatively impacted the freeflow combat as “enemies stand around waiting for you to punch them” and “you’re swinging wildly because you don’t know where they are.” The feature was cut.
  • Another cut feature is the enemy quad-rotor drone which would patrol rooms in search of Bats. The drone “broke the richness of the predator room, which is in giving the player the power to play the way they want.”
  • Detective mode has been overhauled, as has the gadget upgrade progression tree.
  • Goons will be able to “take advantage of the verticality” of New Gotham
  • Legends of the Dark Knight was the “single most inspirational piece of media”
  • “Making Batman scary again is important”
  • WB Montreal believes it has made “the coolest version of Deathstroke. He’s a wonderful counterpart to Batman”
  • Northern Gotham is the area that became Arkham City, it is a mix of low-rent residential and industrial buildings. Referred to as the Brooklyn of Gotham.
  • New Gotham is described as the ‘Soho’ or ‘East Village’ of the city. It is a brand new, upmarket area, borderline financial zone of the city. Focus is tall buildings, catwalks and walkways here.
  • The GCPD is corrupt, so Gotham’s swat teams are out to get Batman too
  • No mention of Joker yet.
  • A ‘Most Wanted’ mechanic offers a selection of mini-campaign side-stories centered around other major villains.

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Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 29.04.13

Dead Island RiptideYet another brand new number 1 this week! The superhero fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us was knocked down to number 2 by Dead Island: Riptide. Other new additions this week are Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen which comes in at number 3, followed up by Star Trek at number 4 and Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins makes its debut at number 8.

All formats

Week ending 27 April 2013

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 DEAD ISLAND: RIPTIDE DEEP SILVER
2 INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 1
3 DRAGON’S DOGMA: DARK ARISEN CAPCOM
4 STAR TREK PARAMOUNT
5 TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX 4
6 BIOSHOCK INFINITE 2K GAMES 2
7 FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 6
8 LEGO CITY UNDERCOVER: THE CHASE BEGINS NINTENDO
9 DEFIANCE TRION WORLDS 5
10 LUIGI’S MANSION 2 NINTENDO 8
11 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 7
12 FAR CRY 3 UBISOFT 10
13 FIRE EMBLEM: AWAKENING NINTENDO 3
14 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM XBOX 360 CLASSICS 11
15 SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED SEGA 19
16 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
17 HITMAN ABSOLUTION SQUARE ENIX
18 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS 14
19 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA
20 ASSASSIN’S CREED III UBISOFT 13
< previous week

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

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: Assassin’s Creed community program

Assassin's Creed 4: Black FlagUbisoft have revealed its first VIP program, THE WATCH, dedicated to the Assassin’s Creed community, now available for all players who pre-order Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag via retail, online stores or Uplay in EMEA territories.

THE WATCH will allow members to delve deeper into the Assassin’s Creed Universe and enjoy exclusive tailored content, as well as early access to the latest information, ensuring the community are the first to know about upcoming events, shows, talks and releases on the brand.

THE WATCH will bring the community closer to Assassin’s Creed than ever before via regular in-depth features exploring a variety of different themes, including the characters, setting, places, cultural inspirations and other game related elements.

The Assassin’s Creed universe also lives through the fans’ voice and creations, so THE WATCH also allows members to follow Assassin’s Creed related social media and discussions, discover and ‘like’ other member’s content and upload their own, and compare their skills and achievements! Key members of the community will also be chosen to update a special “Experts” section to share their deep knowledge on the universe.

THE WATCH will also introduce unique member quests to compete in, unlocking specific missions, special rewards and bonuses. These timed missions will only be available through THE WATCH and participants will be able to track themselves and other members through global leaderboards.

In addition to its desktop version, THE WATCH is optimized for tablets and smartphones. For more information, you can visit: http://www.assassinscreed.com/thewatch

You can enjoy a trailer for THE WATCH below

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 26.04.13

THQ logoIt is the end of the week which means it is time for the Train2Game industry news round up!

Nordic Games announced earlier this week that it was one of the successful bidders in THQ´s auction process, which ended on April 15. Nordic Games will acquire more than 150 intellectual properties for a purchasing price of USD 4.9 million spanned across PC, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony platforms. The company has acquired the rights to Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Titan Quest, Supreme Commander, Frontlines, Stuntman, Juiced, Full Spectrum Warrior, Destroy All Humans and much more. I look forward to seeing what the developer does with their new products.

Annelid aficionados Mastertronic announced Worms Revolution Collection, the latest in anarchic action, will explode into stores on May 3rd for Xbox 360. Worms Revolution Collection, contains the latest OTT outing in the best-selling turn-based series, plus all three DLC packs and, as an added bonus, Worms 2 Armageddon and all five DLC packs all wrapped up in a mystery crate and sealed with a loving poke! You can enjoy the trailer, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPNMoUFw3_0&feature=youtu.be

Another game collection. You will be able to experience the complete Skyrim collection with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition, arriving in retail stores throughout Europe and Australia on June 7, 2013. The Legendary Edition will be available on Xbox 360 and PS3 for £39.99. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition includes the original critically-acclaimed game, official add-ons – Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn – and added features like combat cameras, mounted combat, Legendary difficulty mode for hardcore players, and Legendary skills – enabling you to master every perk and level up your skills infinitely.

Independent developer Wired Productions has confirmed plans to bring popular music creation software eJay to the touchscreen generation – despite not reaching its initial Kickstarter campaign target. As the campaign closed this morning, over £50,000 had been pledged – short of the hoped £150,000, but enough support to make Wired Productions more determined than ever to revive the program which inspired a generation of DJs. “It has been a hell of a ride,” explains Leo Zullo, managing director, Wired Productions, “but ultimately we fell short of our initial target. That said, it’s been an invaluable process. We’ve learnt loads about what the community wants and feel able to continue our journey towards a revived eJay with renewed confidence.

Finally, a bit of news for you Bat-fans, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games announced the release of LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, available now on the App Store. Delivering action-adventure gameplay to touchscreen devices, this latest caper is based on LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, the game which released to critical acclaim in June 2012 and was one of the best-selling videogames of the year.

Train2Game News: Major Xbox Announcement

Xbox announcementThe rumours of the announcement for the Next Generation Xbox have been confirmed as true by Larry Hryb.

Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson, confirmed on his twitter account that Microsoft will be revealing the next Xbox on May 21. Mr Hryb directed his twitter followers attention to his blog which had a big green banner across the top with a countdown under the words “Xbox Reveal”. You can’t get much clearer than that.

“On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment,” the post says. “On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the US or Canada.”

The worldwide stream will land at 1pm ET, 10am Pacific and 5pm GMT, although presumably that should be 6pm. This will allow all people around the world to watch the stream live with out having to stay up until the early hours of the morning.

The post goes on to announce further info at E3 a few weeks later, including an extensive software reveal. “We’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future,” it says. “Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.”

The post is finished of by saying “We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on.” A comment like this shows how much passion has been put into this project.

I am greatly looking forward to this announcement.

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio interview with Icey Monty

Icey MontyI got the pleasure of interviewing the Train2Game Student Studio Icey Monty earlier this week. They are really going from strength to strength in this industry and you can read about or listen to their company adventures below.

You can listen to the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1350533-train2game-student-studio-icey-monty-talks-to-t2g-radio

Or read the following transcript:

John: Hi, my name’s John, I’m on the Developer course and I’m from Scotland but now live in Newcastle.

Nick: Hi I’m Nick, I’m also on the Train2Game course and I’m from Newmarket, Suffolk.

Hi guys, how you doing?

John: I’m good, how about you?

Nick: I’m good, really good.

I’m good cheers guys, so tell me who you guys are and what you have been up to?

John: We’re Icey Monty, we started our own company two weeks ago and we are now officially working on a couple of clients games.

Very nice. So what clients, what games? If you can say of course

John: Nick is working for a professor in California at the minute, he specialises in eye to brain coordination. He’s asked for a thing to be created that will measure reflexes, how quick the eye can send a message to the brain. So Nick’s been working on that for the past two or three weeks now and I’m working on a racing game for a client in the Ukraine. He’s got a website that currently gets about three hundred thousand hits a day so that’s pretty cool!

You seem to get a lot of international work. Where do you source your work from?

John: I’ll let you answer that one Nick.

Nick: Sure. Well we started off by just posting in the Unity commercial forums just saying we are a small start up and we are available for work. After that, we had about two or three jobs leading from that and from there we had the funds to start a website and since then we haven’t had to contact anyone really. We’ve had people contact us for the last few weeks.

So, is it just the two of you working then?

Nick: It is, yeah.

Are you happy working in a small team?

Nick: Oh absolutely yeah!

John: Most Definitely.

Nick: So much better than with the pressure you get with a large team.

John: Especially from a management side of things.

Nick: Oh definitely yeah. Things are a lot more flexible for us now. Things are a lot more laid back. Some days it doesn’t even feel like working really. A bit of a cliché but we really enjoy it so it’s nice.

Excellent. So you’ve had quite a lot of success so what advice would you give to students who are looking to start making games professionally?

John: Oh, be prepared to work, a lot. That’s how we done ours. When we got a clients job we literally wouldn’t rest because the way we thought about it was, this is our dream and they’ve given us the opportunity to where we want to be with our careers and our lives, so really we are indebted to these people.

Nick: You give them everything you can offer them. Don’t think of it as a job, you’re giving them your expertise. You’re showing them that you can do these kind of things, your proving yourself in the market, in the work you do.

So work hard and you will be noticed, kind of thing?

John: Yeah. The other thing we do is, if we know we are ahead of our schedule, we will actually contact the client because we’ve had an idea, literally me and Nick will talk all day – obviously we still get our work done, we don’t sit down and have a nanny chat, but if we come up with a cool idea we will contact the client and say “Look, we are a bit ahead of schedule, would you like this added to your game?” at no extra cost, it won’t cost you anything, we are just really enjoying what we are working on at the minute.

Perfect, so always go that extra mile for them?

Nick: Yeah, it pays back ten-fold.

John: It does, insanely.

So finally then lads, where can people find out more about Icey Monty?

John: If you just go to www.iceymonty.com which is our professional website or you can go to www.iceymontyblog.com and there are things we are working on personally for our clients projects, obviously with permission, some of the systems we create or just some general ideas and some doodles we do through the day.

Perfect well thank you very much guys!

John: No problem, thanks very much!

Nick: Cheers!

Train2Game News: Windows 8.1 bringing back Start button

Windows 8Reports have emerged that with the update of Windows 8, the missed Start Button will make its return.

Since Windows 8 launched many have complained that there is no Start button for the system, with Windows 8.1 this will be rectified. Microsoft and Windows have heard the complaints and changed their system for you. The revived Start button still won’t open a Start menu, however, just offer a way to access the Start Screen.

Microsoft will also include the option to boot any Windows 8 device to its classic PC desktop and allow this to once again become the default view.

These features aren’t in the current Windows 8.1 beta but are expected to be included in its final release, due later this year.

These details were revealed by The Verge and are backed up by an identical report from ZDNet, posted earlier this month.

The decision to backtrack on these features shows Microsoft do listen to their customers and are trying to get the best system out for everyone. Windows 8 has, so far, had mixed reviews from Developers and Train2Game students a like.

Time will tell if this back track of features will increase the popularity of the operating system.

Train2Game News: Word slinging game Spellirium

SpelliriumUntold Entertainment introduces Spellirium, a trashpunk comedy adventure with monsters, mystics, and linguistic spellslingers.

In a future when reading and writing have been outlawed, Brother Todd of the Runekeepers and a motley crew of characters must journey across the devastated landscape, bringing peace and order to a ruined civilization. But outlandish legends thrive on oral tradition, and Todd uncovers a painful truth written in the margins of his life’s story.

Untold is setting its sights on older players with Spellirium’s darkly comic approach to themes of betrayal, individualism, and privilege. The company hopes Spellirium will please venerable adventure fans who remember a time before pointing and clicking, when entire worlds were explored through text parser commands. Puzzlers who delight in crosswords, Scrabble, Boggle, and logic challenges will find something to love in Spellirium.

Using word-based spellcasting to battle monsters and shadowy overlords, Spellirium is an adventure for clever players. More than just manipulating letters to form words, players must utilize palindromes, synonyms, color combos, rhymes, and more. One monster, for example, can only be defeated through onomatopoeia (CRASH, BANG, BOOM). A certain achievement sees players building semordnilaps – words that spell valid, entirely different words when read backwards (ROOM <-> MOOR). A mindless word-search this most definitely is not.

Pre-order customers immediately receive an alpha download of the game, which includes the prologue and two of three acts. The “kickENDER campaign,” as called by Untold Entertainment founder, Ryan Henson Crieghton, will be used to fund further development, including the implementation of the final act, voice-overs, and sound effects.

Rewards for financial backers at various tiers include voicing a character in the game, designing a creature, and branding a word in the Spellirium Dictionary; a collectible list of 50,000 words that can be used to buy items and craft power-ups. The Reserve-A-Word tier is already proving popular with players, who have reserved a bizarre list of words including SLUG, LIZARD, MOIST, BARF, MOMMY, SAMURAI and SAUSAGE.

In one of the support tiers you also get access to the UGAGS game logic and a “God Panel” so you can tweak and play around with the game as much as you want or just see the coding that went in to how the game works. This should be very helpful to any Train2Game developers.

This sounds like an interesting new take on an old system that was used in the likes of the text based adventure, ZORK.

You can watch the trailer below

You can pre-order Spellirium, support them and find out more at www.spellirium.com