Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 23.08.13

Batman Arkham OriginsIt’s the end of the week which means it’s time for the industry news round up!

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment unveiled a new trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins titled “Nowhere to Run.” The trailer showcases the indomitable super villains hell-bent on taking down the Bat and gives a first look at Firefly, one of the eight assassins featured in Batman: Arkham Origins, capable of raining fire from above. You can watch the Batman: Arkham Origins – Nowhere to Run – gameplay trailer here: http://youtu.be/gTQQaZm5Mzc

Continuing the superhero game theme, LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes are back, this time revealing the brick-building plot of the game, with an all-new new trailerAm! Do you have what it takes to destroy Dr. Doom and his Dr. Doom Doomray of Doom? Check out the awesome trailer (with a huge villain reveal) here: http://youtu.be/Nvpug0_-xAQ

It’s time to step back into the darkness. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the follow-up to the genre-defining horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is now available for pre-order with a 20-percent discount. From the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dear Esther comes a new first-person horror game that will drag you to the depths of greed, power and madness. It will bury its snout into your ribs and it will eat your heart. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is survival–horror at its most unsettling; helpless and alone, no weapons to soothe your nerves, and the dim light of your lantern to offer any comfort.

Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse is the fifth instalment in the adventure game franchise. It was kickstarted to give Revolution Software full control, giving them total freedom over the games look and feel. It is also the first Kickstarter project to be picked up by Sony to put on the Vita. The Serpent’s Curse will also be available on iOS, PC, Mac, Android and Linux and you can see an early trailer for the game, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3jQu1riTcYg

After years of Comic Book Movies, Publishers are really making a play for videogames to muscle in. EA have a Need for Speed movie starring Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad, and Ubsioft already have Michael Fassbender attached to Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy. Now they’re taking upcoming Watch_Dogs onto the big screen too, forming a partnership with Sony Pictures and New Regency. Video Games have a very hit and miss track record with going to movies and some are only good because they are so bad. With all these games going to Hollywood though, it shows games are being accepted more and more.

Train2Game News: Where could Oculus Rift lead?

Oculus RiftThe founder of Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey, has stated that VR tech may be able to achieve “Matrix level virtual reality” within just a few years.

In a talk with Eurogamer Mr Luckey predicted a bright future for VR technology: “VR tech is still very crude,” he said, “but it’s advancing rapidly.”

The Oculus Rift device is going from strength-to-strength this year. Over 20,000 dev units have been shipped, and the company recently recruited id veteran John Carmack as its CTO. Oculus is now working on making the device compatible with Android mobile devices.

The next step beyond that would be to bring the device to games consoles. It’s simplicity means it would be a relatively easy thing to accomplish. “From our point of view you just need an HDMI input, and both consoles have HDMI,” said Laird Malamed of Oculus. “My experience has been that to get access to the USB side, that’s typically where you need software level support and that’s where you need their help.”

This could be nixed if Microsoft and Sony choose to release their own VR headsets for their respective next-gen consoles. Malamed said that the competition would be a positive thing for the technology.

“They’re big companies with lots of resources. For us we’d say good. With John Carmack coming over as our CTO, we’ve had a great Kickstarter campaign, they continue to be great supporters, but we’re still a start-up. VR’s had a lot of failures in the past, and so the more people that enter the market is good because developers that ultimately have to develop the content, they know they’ll have people playing their games which is better for all of us.”

It’s conceivable then that VR headsets could become commonplace during the next console generation. This would open up a whole new world of development.

Train2Game News: Mark Zuckerberg working to connect the world

mark zuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the formation of Internet.org, a group with the specific goal of helping make the internet available to the entire world.

It’s a partnership with a number of prominent technology companies — Facebook, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung are among the founding members — that will join forces for a number of initiatives they hope will bring connectivity to the two-thirds of the globe that currently don’t have an easy way to get online.

According to the press release announcing the initiative, Internet.org is taking aim at three specific challenges. Affordability, for which the founders will be developing cheaper means of access, including smartphones; data efficiency, in which they’ll focus on compression and other techniques that will allow services to use less bandwidth; and access itself. For the latter, Internet.org’s members will focus on developing business models that will incentivize companies of all types to provide cheaper, more plentiful internet access in the targeted regions.

In connection with the launch, Zuckerberg has posted a mission statement laying out some early goals and approaches Internet.org is looking at, while framing its ambitions as an issue of human rights rather than business concerns. “I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” Zuckerberg writes. “The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be profitable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”

If Zuckerberg and his team succeed in this venture, not only will it be great for those unable to connect at the minute to have access to the knowledge of the internet, but it will also mean that the market for games will grow exponentially.

Train2Game News: Sony announcements at Gamescom

PS4Sony have announced at Gamescom the release dates of their next generation console the PlayStation 4.

The PlayStation 4 will launch in North America November 15, with a European release to follow two weeks later on November 29. The system will roll out in a total of 32 countries this holiday season.

Before announcing the dates, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House also touted the company’s success in building anticipation for the system. To date, he said the PS4 has attracted more than 1 million preorders globally.

House also used the event to unveil a new next-gen upgrade program, saying gamers who purchase the PS3 versions of select games will be able to buy digital versions of their next-gen counterparts at “a significantly discounted price.”

Games already confirmed for the program include Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. House said Sony is also working to expand the number of publishers participating in the discount deals.

In addition to the date being announced, it was also announced that there would be a price cut on the PS Vita and the 12GB PS3. You can now buy these consoles for $199 or €199 in North America and Europe. No word yet on a UK price however but you have to hope it’s not far behind.

Train2Game News: Fable Legends announced

Fable LegendsAt Gamescom this week, Lionhead Studios have announced Fable Legends as an exclusive for the Xbox One.

Fable Legends unites the classic gameplay that players have come to love from the series with all of the next-generation capabilities of Xbox One. For the first time, grab your friends and go on adventures – up to four Heroes can cooperatively discover the quests and stories of Albion. Or, play the villain where you can mastermind the game in real time. “Fable Legends” takes advantage of the graphical processing power of Xbox One, and when coupled with Unreal Engine 4, delivers a rich and beautiful world.

You can play the game single player, with a party of three heroic AI companions that follow your lead through stories and adventures. Or you can play cooperatively with up to three friends and discover the game’s quests and content together.

Play whatever style you want, when you want. After all, you’re the Hero. And just what kind of Hero you choose to play is up to you. “Fable Legends” takes you back to a time when Albion is teeming with Heroes, so there’s bound to be one for you. Fearless warriors. Cunning tricksters. Masters of Will. Paragons of virtue. Heartless mercenaries. Intoxicated brawlers. Chicken chasers. They’re all here, and many more besides. You’ll be able to customize your abilities, alter your appearance, and advance your Hero by earning experience and finding new armour, weapons, and treasures.

Fable has always presented opportunities for mischief and villainy, and in “Fable Legends” Lionhead are going to offer a way to play the bad guy as never before.

The Villain player takes control of the many creatures, minions, traps, and environmental hazards that Heroes must overcome. Villain play combines elements of strategic decision making and tactical control. When those pitiful Heroes enter an area, you’ll choose which minions are sent into battle and where to place these creatures to maximize their effectiveness. Once the fight begins, you issue the orders for your creatures to execute: telling them where to go, which Hero to attack, and what abilities to use to ensure your evil plans come to fruition.

The game sounds like a fun different take on the Fable universe and it is the first confirmed game to be using Unreal 4.

Train2Game News: Xbox One Self Publishing

Xbox OneMicrosoft have finally clarified their self publishing plans for the Xbox One, allowing developers to create, sell and market games through the new home console.

All developers accepted for the scheme will receive two Xbox One development kits free of charge, as well as access to the full range of services on offer to games development teams – cloud services, Kinect and the Xbox One toolset, which includes Smartglass, multiplayer, Achievements and Gamerscores.

Applications for the self-publishing service, named ID@Xbox, are being accepted from today, with Microsoft stating that priority will be given to developers with a proven track record in shipping games on console, mobile, PC or tablets and there are no application fees for certification or for title updates.

In order to help with the discoverability issues that trouble all self-publishing stores, Microsoft is promising that all games will feature in the regular Xbox One store and be supported by voice search.

On top of that the store will also feature trending games reflecting what the community and friends are playing, recommendations based on a consumer’s playing habits, spotlighted games and the ability for developers to set community challenges, as well as support the Xbox One’s Game DVR and Upload services.

Phil Harrison, corporate vice president at Microsoft Europe’s interactive entertainment business, revealed that Microsoft will set the price of self-published games after developers have established their wholesale price and that developers are likely to receive an industry standard 70/30 split in their favour.

“The developer can set their own wholesale price and we act as the retailer. So Xbox Live acts as a reseller, and Xbox Live Store will be setting the ultimate retail price to the consumer. That’s the way in which our store has always been structured,” he said.

Independent developers who have already given their support to Microsoft’s new initiative include Chris Hecker, The Behemoth’s John Baez, Paul Wedgewood from Splash Damage, Other Ocean’s Mike Mika, Team 17’s Debbie Bestwick, The Odd Gentlemen’s Matt Korab, Ripstone’s Phil Gaskel and Dlala Studios.

Microsoft has said that eventually it hopes that every Xbox One will become a development kit for self-publishing purposes.

If you are interested in signing up for this you can do so by visiting http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/developers/id

Train2Game News: Icey Monty featured in Newmarket News

Icey MontyThe success of Train2Game student studio, Icey Monty, has been noticed by studio founder Nick Walker’s local paper, Newmarket News.

The article in the paper talks about the success the young studio have been having lately and their recent partnership with Strongbow.

You can read the article in the link below.

Train2Game Student News Icey Monty Newmarket

Well done guys! Keep up the good work.

Train2Game News: A Cloud Gaming success story

Remnant KnightsKalydo, a leading International Cloud Gaming Platform is proud to publish the first numbers backed proof of Cloud gaming success.

Working in partnership with GameSamba, an exclusive publisher of online free to play games located in the US, Kalydo transformed their flagship title Remnant Knights from an old-model download, install and patch title into a seamless and engaging Kalydo Cloud powered MMORPG.

Remnant Knights was initially a 1.2 GB client, taking over 1 hour to download (requiring additional time to patch), and needing a total of 12 user clicks before a consumer could begin playing. Thanks to the tight integration of the Cloud Technology, GameSamba has re-launched Remnant Knights as a full Cloud Game, requiring only 5 minutes to download the Launcher and reducing total user clicks to just 6.

Most importantly: Conversion rates (User Registration to Play) shot from 40% to 88.5%!

“With Kalydo our gamers have more options to play and can get into the game much faster. We no longer service a large downloadable client. Gamers can choose to play from the desktop and the browser, all using Kalydo´s Cloud streaming technology.” Mike Suh – International Development VP GameSamba

The results have not only delighted GameSamba and Kalydo, but just as importantly their players as well. When asked about their general impressions about Cloud gaming, over 65% responded positively. 41% felt the performance of Remnant Knights compared to other Cloud based games was better, while over 50% of the respondents stated it takes less than 2 minutes now to start playing again after a new patch release.

Kalydo believes gamers deserve frictionless experiences, not barriers to play: They deserve more than what they’re getting right now- no matter what or where they play.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 19.08.13

PayDay2It’s the start of another week so it is time again to reveal the top twenty games. This week sees a new number one, Payday 2, knock Minecraft: Xbox360 edition down to number two. Besides the new number one the only change is the reintroduction of BioShock Infinite thanks to the upcoming DLC and Red Dead Redemption: Game Of The Year Edition which come in at numbers nineteen and twenty respectively.

All formats

Week ending 17 August 2013

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST 
 WEEK 
1    PAYDAY 2 505 GAMES
2    MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 1
3    CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 7
4    FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 2
5  –  ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF NINTENDO 5
6  –  THE LAST OF US SONY COMPUTER ENT. 6
7    THE SMURFS 2 UBISOFT 3
8  –  LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 8
9  –  TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX 9
10    GRAND THEFT AUTO IV XBOX 360 CLASSICS 13
11    ASSASSIN’S CREED III XBOX 360 CLASSICS 10
12    THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – LEGENDARY BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 16
13    NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 12
14  –  LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
15    FAR CRY 3 UBISOFT 11
16    MAX PAYNE 3 ROCKSTAR 15
17    GRAND THEFT AUTO EPISODES – LIBERTY CITY ROCKSTAR 18
18    BATTLEFIELD 3 EA GAMES 19
19    BIOSHOCK INFINITE 2K GAMES
20    RED DEAD REDEMPTION: GOTY ROCKSTAR
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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: Mad Munchkin Reviews

Mad Munchkin ReviewsTrain2Game student, Amy Methven from Elgin Scotland, has created her own YouTube channel talking about all sorts of different art and animation.

Amy’s Mad Munchkin Reviews have covered media such as games, movies and TV Shows. She has spoken about the Batman Arkham games, My Little Pony and she has discussed subjects such as CGI compared to 2D animation.

It’s a fascinating view on all the different aspects of animation.

I asked Amy why she decided to create her YouTube channel and she said “I started the Mad Munchkin reviews for lots of different reasons really. The first one being that I love Art and love talking about it, like most people on the Art and Animation Course with Train2Game.

The second reason is that I wanted to find other creative ways to expose my Art work outside of the video game industry. In a practical sense, it allowed me to develop my video editing skills as well as analytical skills when it comes to my writing. I wanted to teach myself how to construct my critiques so I can successfully back up my opinions on what I review.

The show primarily focuses on Animated Movies, tv shows and video games, looking at the creative process behind creating these pieces of Art from the perspective of theory rather than the practical technicalities of the process. As much as I love the practical side of creativity, it is the theory and reason behind it that I like talking about more. Asking why something looks a certain why is more interesting to me than finding out how it was constructed.”

If you would like to check out Amy’s YouTube channel you can here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Amymethven/videos?shelf_index=0&view=0&sort=dd

Or you can view her Deviant art page at: http://amymethvenart.deviantart.com/