Train2Game News Eurogamer 2014

EurogamerGamer Network, in partnership with Virgin Media, is delighted to reveal a small selection of the huge number of games that will available to play at EGX London 2014 this September.

Battlefield Hardline, Sunset Overdrive and Alien: Isolation are just some of the games headlining this year’s show, with other titles already confirmed from the likes of 2K Games, Electronic Arts, Activision and SEGA, as well as the console platform holders Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, and VR powerhouse Oculus.

EGX London 2014 takes place at Earls Court, London, from Thursday 25th September to Sunday 28th September, and is expected to attract 80,000 gamers. For the first time in its history the event will occupy two full floors of Earl’s Court One, packing the space with hundreds of playable pre-release games, along with exclusive developer session presentations on the hour every day and a host of other attractions.

Other playable games include Evolve and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel from 2K Games and the aforementioned Destiny from Activision and Battlefield Hardline from Electronic Arts. SEGA’s Alien: Isolation, voted game of the show at this year’s EGX Rezzed, will also feature in a big way.

Visitors to EGX London will also have the opportunity to experience Oculus Rift, the cutting-edge VR headset, on its own dedicated stand. It’s another chance for attendees to enjoy what many people consider to be the future of gaming.

Gamer Network is also pleased to confirm that SEGA will continue to sponsor the Leftfield Collection (formerly Indie Games Arcade), offering indie developers the opportunity to showcase innovative projects free of charge to thousands of gamers.

Ticket sales have been very strong with super passes, early-entry tickets and Saturday day passes already sold out. Remaining tickets can be purchased via the EGX London website: http://www.egxlondon.net/tickets

Train2Game News Mytho Games looking for Designer

Mytho GamesTrain2Game student studio, Mytho Games, is looking for a designer to join the team to work on a few projects they have going.

The team already have a current designer but he is busy with life at the moment and unable to devote his time to the team so a second designer is needed to keep the projects rolling along at a good speed.

The company asks “We are looking for an individual that really wants to put their ideas forward into a game. We are big believers in creative freedom so providing your ideas are now so crazy and impossible to do its likely we will use it. Anyone who is a good story teller and excellent level designer will be the best pick.

Only real requirement is you have Facebook and enough enthusiasm to oil the rusted wheels of progress that have coursed our team to a slow to a crawl.”

To register your interest for the position or to find out more contact The Warrior of Jupiter on the Train2Game Forum.

Train2Game News Vote for SpecialEffect for Tech4Good awards

SpecialEffectSpecialEffect are asking for your help in a David and Goliath style contest. The charity are up against Samsung for the National Technology4Good awards.

The Tech4Good Awards celebrate the hard work of people of all ages who use the power of computers and the Internet to make the world a better place. They are the only awards to highlight the wealth of charities, businesses and volunteers across the UK that harness the power of technology to benefit the community. The aim is to celebrate the hard work that these people put into making the world a better place.

All you need to do to vote for SpecialEffect to win this years award is simply create a tweet using the hashtag #T4GSpecialEffect. Every time your tweet is retweeted with that hashtag it counts towards another vote and there is no limit on how many times you can vote!

You can also vote by visiting http://bit.ly/1i4qU6j

The votes ends next Monday at 5pm so you have the weekend to get tweeting!

Train2Game News Great British Summer Game Jam

Great British Summer Game JamMind Candy has partnered with Autodesk to encourage people to get into game development, promote the UK’s games industry and experiment with new technology and hardware in the first ever Great British Summer Game Jam.

The Jam will see development teams creating games around the “British Summer” theme to win a variety of prizes from the likes of Unity3d, Marmalade and PlayJam. Ukie is also supporting a special “Accessibility Award”, judged by accessibility consultant Ian Hamilton, for the game which is the most accessible to those with impairments and disabilities.

The Great British Summer Game Jam will run from Saturday 5th July to Sunday 6th July but teams will be encouraged to tinker with some of the new technology that Mind Candy has collected from various partners from Thursday 26th June to start preparing for their game. The technology for the jam is provided by partners Autodesk, Marmalade, Unity3d, Simplygon, Allegorithmic, PlayCanvas, PlayJam (GameStick), Simplygon and AMD. Anybody of any skill level can sign up, be it students or established developers, and take part remotely or in person at Mind Candy’s offices in East London, where jammers will be kept supplied with sustenance, funky office space, WiFi and power.

CTO of Mind Candy, Jeff Reynar said “At Mind Candy, we know from experience that a small game idea can turn into a massive break-out hit.  We love Game Jams and run them internally – they are a great way to discover and try out new ideas, or just to have fun! We are hugely excited to be hosting The Great British Game Jam in our London office and can’t wait to see what everyone creates!”

CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist said “We are really proud to be part of this fantastic initiative and to be supporting the Accessibility Award in particular. Jams like these are a great way to raise awareness around issues like accessibility and with today’s huge array of technology, tools, and ways to reach new audiences on different platforms, there has never been a more exciting time to make games. It will be fantastic to see what kind of creative and innovative projects come out of the Jam from some of the UKs best developers.”

The Jam kicks off with a briefing session and tech presentation at Mind Candy’s office today (Thursday 26th June). It will be recorded and put on online after for anybody who misses it. For more information or to register for the briefing session, follow this link – http://gbsgamejam.eventbrite.com

Train2Game News Survey shows rise in females in Games Industry

IGDAThe percentage of women in the game development workforce has nearly doubled since 2009 according to a survey of more than 2,200 developers in the industry by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

The survey also showed that workers change jobs frequently, but most love their jobs and are in a career that is their passion – but crunch time and the desire to have more work/life balance still exists.

IDGA’s 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey is the evolution of the association’s previous Quality of Life and Diversity surveys, aimed at better understanding the game industry from the perspective of the individual developer. The IGDA survey was a joint project with its research partners, M2 Research and the University of Western Ontario, which oversaw, the organization’s Quality of Life surveys in 2004 and 2009.

The IGDA plans to use the results to better understand its members’ priorities and the most critical issues affecting their overall satisfaction, and in turn use that information to help prioritize the association’s advocacy efforts and initiatives, according to Kate Edwards, executive director.

The IGDA will be releasing the Summary Report of its Developer Satisfaction Survey in July and following up in subsequent months with more in-depth, thematic reports on developer response to topics like Diversity, Quality of Life and Employment Practices.

Here are some of the key findings:

Demographics
·         Men still dominate the industry: 76% of respondents identified as male; 22% identified as female.  The other 2% listed themselves as male-to-female transgender, male-to female transgender or “other.”   This represents a significant change from 2009, when women made up 11.5% of the industry. (The prior IGDA survey tracked only male and female gender identification)
·         Nearly 50% of all members of the developer work force earn less than $50,000 annually.   34% earn between $50 and $100,000. At the other end of the spectrum, 19% earn more than $100,000.

Employment Experience

·         The average survey respondent has worked in the game industry for nine years; has worked on 16 distinct projects and had an average of four employers in the last five years.
·         The primary reason for working in the industry is “to earn a living doing what I enjoy” (41%) and 61% plan to work indefinitely in the field. That said, the top reason for wanting to leave the industry is “I want a better quality of life.” (39%)

Work/Life Issues

·         Similar to the findings in the 2009 survey, respondents say they feel they need to work more hours than are specifically required or expected.  53% responded either “disagree” or “strongly disagree” to the notion that crunch is a necessary part of game development.
·         While crunch exists, 37% of respondents indicated that they receive no compensation for that extra time.

Train2Game News Zero Hour Contracts

Vince CableEmployees on zero hours contracts will have the freedom to find work with more than one employer after Business Secretary Vince Cable announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses.

Exclusivity clauses prevent an individual from working for another employer, even when no work is guaranteed. The use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts undermines choice and flexibility for the individuals concerned.

The ban, set to benefit the 125,000 zero hours contract workers estimated to be tied to an exclusivity clause, is part of a bid to clamp down on abuses in the workplace by less scrupulous employers. It will allow workers to look for additional work to boost their income.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“ Zero hours contracts have a place in today’s labour market. They offer valuable flexible working opportunities for students, older people and other people looking to top up their income and find work that suits their personal circumstances.

But it has become clear that some unscrupulous employers abuse the flexibility that these contracts offer to the detriment of their workers. Today (25 June 2014), we are legislating to clamp down on abuses to ensure people get a fair deal.

Last December (2013), I launched a consultation into this issue. Following overwhelming evidence we are now banning the use of exclusivity in zero hours contracts and committing to increase the availability of information for employees on these contracts. We will also work with unions and business to develop a best practice code of conduct aimed at employers who wish to use zero hours contracts as part of their workforce.”

This action follows a government consultation into zero hours contracts which received over 36,000 responses. 83% were in favour of banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contacts.

The Business Secretary also announced that the government will:

  • consult further on how to prevent rogue employers evading the exclusivity ban, for example through offering 1 hour fixed contracts
  • work with business representatives and unions to develop a code of practice on the fair use of zero hours contracts by the end of the year (2014)
  • work with stakeholders to review existing guidance and improve information available to employees and employers on using these contracts

The ban will be part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which is being introduced to Parliament today (25 June 2014).

Train2Game News Oculus Rift researched with Children

Oculus RiftGood news for Oculus VR and Facebook as new research from Dubit shows kids not only love to use Oculus Rift but they want to see it used in schools and other areas outside of gaming.

They are some of the findings from research recently carried out by youth research and digital entertainment agency, Dubit, and virtual reality consultancy KZero into children’s experiences of, and expectations for Oculus Rift – the virtual reality headset created by Oculus VR, which was acquired by Facebook for $2bn in March this year.

Dubit’s work was carried out with 12 children aged between seven and 12 years-of-age. All 12 played a variety of games using the headset (first development kit version) before working together in pairs to explain their feelings and reactions towards the technology.

Dubit’s head of research, Peter Robinson led the groups. Commenting on the children’s experiences he said: “The overarching message from our sessions is that children love using Oculus Rift and felt immersed in the games in ways they’ve never felt before! Comments along the lines of it being the best way to play games were common. Oculus VR may not see children as their core market but there’s no doubting the device’s potential popularity with kids.”

Robinson continued: “We were glad to see that none of the children in our groups felt dizzy or ill after using the headset; the only usability issues occurred when the children had to move their heads to look down and found the headset heavy. A couple of the younger children also reported fitting issues with the head-straps. With lighter headsets on the way we don’t see Oculus Rift causing many usability issues for young wearers.”

Since Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR there has been much discussion around the technology’s application outside of gaming. This was also covered in the research with Robinson saying: “Without prompting all children said they thought virtual reality would be great in their schools. They thought it would make lessons more interesting and allow them to take ‘virtual field tips’. But they wanted to do more than just visit new places; they wanted to go back in time and interact with people, like the Captain of the Titanic or people living in Tudor England and get their views on history. They were more interested about exploring history than changing it through gaming.

“We also found that children placed great emphasis on exploration – a trait they wanted to see in all games, not just educational experiences.”

Bearing in mind the age of the children Robinson didn’t find it surprising to hear them suggest that Minecraft would be great on Oculus Rift: ”It’s striking how much of an impact Minecraft has had on children’s gaming expectations. While most of the children wanted to see Oculus Rift used in first-person-shooter games like Call of Duty – yes, even the young ones – it was games that allowed them to explore, like Skyrim, or create their own content, Minecraft, that came up time and time again as being great fits for virtual reality. We didn’t have the heart to tell them that Notch had refused to bring his game to the system due to the Facebook acquisition – maybe now he’ll reconsider.”

During Dubit’s tests the children controlled the games using either head movements, an Xbox control pad or keyboard and mouse. Robinson said: “Xbox pads were the most familiar to the children and the preferred control method, unless the games were meant to be passive, like the rollercoaster simulator, in these cases they were happy to have no control. In most cases the children wanted even greater immersion and suggested peripherals such as steering wheels would make the experience feel even more realistic. Kinect was suggested so the game could track the player’s movements. The consensus was that an innovative device like the Oculus Rift needed an innovative method of control.

“While we understand that it won’t be children buying this technology with their pocket money it’s still interesting to see how much they think it will cost. It can also help us understand whether they see it as better or worse than current technology.
“While there was quite a swing between estimates the average price suggested by the children was £430, quite a lot higher than we expected. To gauge their ability to estimate such costs we asked them to guess the price of existing technology like games consoles, mobile devices and TVs. In all cases, except for the TV, their average estimates were within £50 of the correct price, showing they have a good idea of tech costs.”

These focus groups are the first in a number of internal research projects being carried out by Dubit on the new technology. The company also comprises of a games development studio, creating virtual worlds for the likes of BBC Worldwide, Cartoon Network and PBS KIDS. Their work in virtual reality began with their first virtual world for Oculus Rift, Fairy Forest. Over the next six months the agency is will publish further work, this time with the University of Sheffield, that looks to provide understanding of how children engage with entertainment across devices and platforms.

Train2Game News Turtle Beach launches your beautiful game

BeautifulGameTurtle Beach, the leading audio brand in the videogames industry, is today embarking on a quest to crown the community’s favourite game.

From now until July 9, gamers are being encouraged to nominate their favourite videogame in a poll which will ask male, female, young and old to come together to crown the most popular title of all time.

Before the poll begins Turtle Beach is asking the community to support their favourite game or series by submitting a campaign video, image or even text nomination explaining why it’s so deserving. Nominations can be submitted via http://yourbeautifulgame.com or on the Turtle Beach Facebook page.

Spot prizes will be available throughout the nomination period – with one lucky winner bagging the ultimate gaming prize, consisting of several next-gen consoles complete with a top-of-the-range Turtle Beach headsets with which to enjoy the best possible gaming experience.

“During this summer of sport, everyone’s talking about the ‘beautiful game’, but we wanted to discover the world’s most celebrated videogame,” said David Roberton, VP of International Marketing at Turtle Beach Corporation. “We’re genuinely interested to see people’s passion for their favourite games, characters and franchises and why they consider them to be so enthralling.”

Voting and full terms and conditions are now open at http://yourbeautifulgame.com

Train2Game News Endemol Job deadline approaching

EndemolThe deadline for the position at Endemol is fast approaching, get your application in quickly if you want a chance to work on some great projects.

A position like this doesn’t come along very often with the possibility to work on some good intellectual properties like Catchphrase and Pointless with a chance of getting one of your ideas off the ground with a strong team behind you. A job here would gain you great experience for future prospects you may have.

The deadline for the position is this Friday June 27.

To read more about the position you can see the previous post here and you can apply by visting https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=YRHOo0wfT6koVipNUDC-8A#

Train2Game News UK Top 20 games – 23.06.14

bruce_leeWatch_Dogs has been beaten from it’s top spot down by EA Sports UFC. Further down the charts the only other new entrant is Moto GP 14 which enters at number fourteen.

All formats
Week ending 14 June 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 EA SPORTS UFC EA SPORTS
2   WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 1
3 TITANFALL EA GAMES 6
4  WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER BETHESDA SOFTWORKS NINTENDO 2
5 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 5
6   2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL EA SPORTS 2
7 MARIO KART 8  NINTENDO 4
8 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 8
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION 3 EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 3
10 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 10
11 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 11
12 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 12
13 MURDERED: SOUL SUSPECT SQUARE ENIX 9
14  – MOTO GP 14 PQUBE
15 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 13
16 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 16
17 THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
18 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 17
19   TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 15
20   LEGO THE HOBBIT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 18
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 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.