Train2Game News Race to Elite

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Frontier Developments plc today launched Elite: Dangerous, the fourth game in the groundbreaking, genre-defining Elite series.

Elite: Dangerous is the fourth in the Elite series of games, following on from the seminal 1984 Elite, developed by David Braben and Ian Bell, 1993’s Frontier: Elite 2, and 1995’s Frontier: First Encounters.

Elite: Dangerous was crowdfunded via Kickstarter and Frontier Developments’ own website, beginning in November 2012. Throughout 2014, backers have had access to the game’s Alpha, Beta and Gamma stages.

The story begins today with the Empire in disarray. The Emperor is sick and a bitter fight for succession has already begun. The Federation has a weak President, and some frontier States are looking to leave it.

Players are free to throw themselves into the story wholeheartedly, participate a little, or not at all. How players choose to respond will directly affect the outcome of the current events, and the unfolding story beyond.

Since 1984, players have aspired to be called Elite. In 1984 only the greatest combat pilots were known by the prestigious title.

Today in Elite: Dangerous, Elite status is awarded as recognition for total mastery in either combat, trading or exploration, with the best of the best aspiring to become Elite in all three.

For most, the journey to Elite will be a long one. For some, it will become a race.

Frontier Developments is offering a separate £1,000 cash prize to the first player who attains Elite status for each of combat, trading and exploration, and a further £10,000 prize for the first player to attain the coveted Triple Elite status for total mastery of all three. Player’s choosing to claim one of the £1,000 cash prizes will make them ineligible for the ‘triple’ prize, though one player could get more than one of the £1,000 prizes.

For further details and rules of the competition, visit the Elite: Dangerous forum thread on the competition here

Train2Game News Final Symphony

Final SymphonyFollowing the unprecedented, sell-out success of its FINAL FANTASY video game concert series, Final Symphony, production company Merregnon Studios is pleased to announce that it is working with celebrated composer Nobuo Uematsu and the world-famous London Symphony Orchestra on a brand new digital album recording of the concert for release in early 2015.

Published by leading digital music distributor, X5 Music Group, Final Symphony the album represents a new benchmark in video game music production. Befitting both the composer and orchestra behind the album, Final Symphony will be completely recorded, mixed and mastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, with Nobuo Uematsu on hand to personally supervise the album’s production. Also featuring the talents of conductor Eckehard Stier and solo pianist Katharina Treutler, both of whom delighted audiences during the award-winning tour, Final Symphony is sure to enchant music fans when it launches globally next year.

In another exciting announcement that continues to reinforce video game music as one the most electrifying and fastest growing genres of classical music, UK radio station Classic FM, the biggest classical music radio station in the world, will exclusively broadcast part of the Final Symphony recording as a world-premiere before the album’s launch next year.

“It is always an honour to hear my work being performed live on stage, but in bringing Final Symphony to Abbey Road Studios I hope that many more people will now be able to enjoy the outstanding arrangements that Merregnon Studios has become famous for,” said Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. “To work with the London Symphony Orchestra in a studio that has played host to many of my own personal, musical heroes will be a very special experience.”

“For me, this album marks the ultimate video game music production,” commented Merregnon Studios’ Thomas Böcker, producer of Final Symphony. “It was an absolute musical privilege to work with the London Symphony Orchestra on Final Symphony last year – the orchestra’s first ever live performance of music from a video game – and to have them back in the same room as Nobuo Uematsu at Abbey Road Studios is like hitting the video game music jackpot. This album will showcase video game music at its very highest quality and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Final Symphony is an officially licensed series of concerts featuring symphonic music from the video games Final Fantasy VI, VII and X, with exclusive arrangements penned by Masashi Hamauzu, Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo. First performed in May 2013, Final Symphony has enjoyed sell-out success in Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, featuring the virtuoso talents of some of the world’s leading orchestras and soloists.

The album also marks the second collaboration between Merregnon Studios and X5 Music Group, following the recent digital launch of Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo, a concert featuring music from Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, Kingdom Hearts and Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross and is available to purchase now from all leading digital music retailers.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 15.12.14

Fifa 15This is the penultimate chart of the year and with Christmas only ten days away it looks like things are staying where they are. There are absolutely no new games and FIFA 15 is still number one.

All formats

Week ending 13 December 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 1
2 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 2
3 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 3
4 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT 4
5 LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 5
6 JUST DANCE 2015 UBISOFT 11
7 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 8
8 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9
9 DESTINY ACTIVISION 16
10 ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY UBISOFT 7
11 THE CREW UBISOFT 6
12 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 19
13 DRIVECLUB SONY COMPUTER ENT. 10
14 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT 18
15 SUPER SMASH BROS. NINTENDO 14
16 THE EVIL WITHIN BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
17 DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION EA GAMES 16
18 FORZA HORIZON 2 MICROSOFT 20
19 SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM SKYLANDERS 15
20 MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
< 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.

Train2Game News WWE Immortals

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WWE and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are creating WWE Immortals, a free-to-play mobile game that will feature epic Superstar battles in a fantastically re-imagined WWE world.

WWE Immortals is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, the creators of the best-selling Mortal Kombat franchise and Injustice: Gods Among Us, in conjunction with Phosphor Game Studios, and will be available worldwide on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices in 2015.

“It’s amazing to be working with WWE to offer a new way for fans to experience the brand on mobile platforms,” said Greg Ballard, Senior Vice President, Mobile, Social and Emerging Platforms, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “NetherRealm Studios are experts in creating award-winning games and the team is working hard to deliver the same quality of engaging gameplay with WWE Immortals.”

“We are excited to partner with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios to create WWE Immortals and bring a new action-packed mobile experience to our passionate fan base,” said Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products, WWE. “By tapping into NetherRealm’s legendary game development studio along with the unparalleled reach of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we are creating a new way for fans to engage with the larger-than-life WWE characters.”

Additional details, including gameplay features, will be announced leading up to the game’s launch next year.

Train2Game News GEEK 2015

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Multiplay, hosts of the UK’s biggest gaming festival Insomnia, is delighted to announce a new partnership with GEEK, a festival that is the place to Meet, Make and Play.

GEEK is a growing festival of play and games, held each year in the seaside town of Margate, Kent. A place for families and friends to come together to help create and play whilst having large amounts of fun, GEEK offers digital and analogue activities for both casual and dedicated gamers.

As a result of the partnership, Multiplay will be curating multiple parts of GEEK2015 which takes place from 20th – 22nd February next year.

GEEK has something for all the family. So whether you want to play and compete, relax, learn new skills or get an idea of how to get your dream job using games and technology, GEEK is the place to be.

“We have big plans for GEEK so it is really exciting to be working with Multiplay on GEEK2015. Multiplay has an unrivalled reputation, and their success on a national and international scale with global partners is a result of their outstanding passion for gaming and commitment to excellence,” said Kate Kneale, Director Marine Studios. “Together we can create a really innovative showcase for games, old and new, popular and obscure, innovative and just plain crazy.”

“The undertaking with GEEK is one we are ecstatic to be part of, showcasing the continually rising popularity of gaming events.  We are delighted to once again be working with GEEK for the second consecutive year, and this is just the start of an array of fantastic projects we will be involved with throughout 2015,” said Craig Fletcher, CEO & Founder of Multiplay.  “It’s been yet another fantastic year and we are delighted to now be actively involved with almost every single show in the gaming events calendar, with GEEK2015 at the forefront.”

More information on GEEK2015 will be revealed on the GEEK website www.geek-play.com

Train2Game News Student film maker creating student team

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London based Train2Game student who directed one minute version of Bladerunner is now creating a student team.

Copy Editor, Film Director and Train2Game student; Richard Cosgrove is searching for students to socialise, start a development group and work on portfolio projects.

Experienced storyteller and games enthusiast Richard Cosgrove is reaching out to London based and online Train2Gamers to work on exciting projects and portfolio pieces.  Richard has experience in writing, having worked as a Copy Editor. He is also an experienced story teller, having created his own film and theatre projects. Some of these exciting narrative ideas must have come from his interesting childhood; in the cadets, training in jujitsu and also being an active member of the dramatics society.

New to Train2Game, Richard spent  15 years in magazine production. Richard wants a fresh start in a creative career. He has always played videogames – gradually having less time to do so, and getting pickier with every year. He’s decided game design seems a good way to mix his professional skills, with his creative skills. Richard has a Degree in media production from the University of Luton and has completed numerous training courses related to filmmaking and magazine production.

Interestingly Richard remade the film Bladerunner for a short-film competition, where the entire film is edited to one minute long. If you’d like to take a look, there’s a links to the one-minute version for the competition http://youtu.be/-VJNYaL9Sy8

Richard Cosgrove, Train2Game Student, said of creating a team and working in games development: “Games design offers a great scope to be creative, tell long-running immersive stories – something I’d enjoy very much – without being limited in scope by the practicalities of reality. Game design is a growth industry worldwide, which seems to have plenty of opportunity for employment across the world. I would prefer to stick to the development and design of games, rather than run my own company. If I did own my own company, I’d need someone doing the business side..”

If you are interested in getting in touch with Richard, please contact the T2G blog or message Mark on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News Suikoden coming to PSN

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Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. has responded to a huge online campaign to bring back its popular Suikoden role-playing series, and will re-release the ever-popular Suikoden and Suikoden II titles digitally via PlayStation Network in January 2015.

Both games are regarded as some of the best role-playing titles for home systems, with Suikoden originally released for PlayStation® in 1997 and Suikoden II was released across Europe for the same format in 2000. They form the first two installments of the six-game series, With Suikoden following an unlikely hero as he attempts to locate the 108 Stars of Destiny that are needed to free his homeland.

Suikoden’s hero, who can be named by the player, is the son of the Great General, Teo McDohl. With his Father summoned to the front in Northlands, the player begins the game undergoing guard training in Gregminster. Via an old friend, the player is charged with protectingthe Rune of Life and Death; one of the 27 runes that govern the world, and which lead the hero to flee the capital. He duly encounters a rebel organization and embarks on a mission to find the Stars of Destiny – comrades needed to restore peace to the land, and to save the home they love.

Suikoden II centres on an orphan called Hero, his friend Jowy and his orphan sister, Nanami. This unlikely trio find themselves in the middle of a war between the Highland Kingdom and the City States. Thus, the three heroes embark on a journey that will question their preconceptions of life, society and war as they gather the famed 108 Stars of Destiny, initially introduced in the first game.

Together, the friends will face potentially life-and-death decisions that force the player to make tough choices, while the game’s celebrated story takes twists and turns and develops based on the decisions made. The trio will also be forced to go into battle as they progress, with combat consisting of a dynamic battle style where multiple team members or enemies can attack simultaneously. Suikoden II also offers players a unique magic rune and skills system that encourages players to perform combat moves with strategy in mind.

Some 18 years after the first game’s launch, Suikoden and Suikoden II are still regarded as two of the greatest role-playing games for home formats. Both will be released via the new PSOne Classic games collection in January for PlayStation 3. Release date and price will be announced soon.

“It is a testament to the content and quality of the Suikoden series that fans still talk about it, some 18 years later,” commented Shinji Hirano, President of Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. “We have received countless requests to revisit the series, so are delighted to be able to satiate its fans with these digital editions of the first two games. We hope people enjoy returning to the world of Suikoden, and that maybe its clever mechanics and engrossing story wins it a new fanbase.”

Train2Game News Industry legend passes away

Ralph BaerGames pioneer Ralph Baer, credited with inventing the first video games system has passed away.

The 92-year-old was the brains behind many of the devices that define what the medium has become today, most notably with his work on the very first games console.

Originally known as the Brown Box, Baer’s machine would later be licensed and sold as the Magnavox Odyssey, which launched in 1972, according to GamaSutra. The Odyssey sold hundreds and thousands of units and inspired many competitors, including Atari’s influential title Pong.

He also invented the interactive memory game Simon in 1979 and the first games console peripheral – the light gun – back in 1967. In total, Baer held patents for around 150 inventions.

Baer received a number of awards and honours throughout his career, including the National Medal of Technology, which was presented to him by President George W. Bush.

Born in Germany in 1922, Baer and his family fled to the Netherlands from the Nazis, eventually moving to the United States. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 09.12.14

Fifa 15The latest game charts is a very quiet one this week with FIFA 15 retaking the number one spot for the first time in six weeks. The only new game to enter is Ubisofts, The Crew which has debuted at number six.

All formats

Week ending 6 December 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 2
2 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 1
3 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 3
4 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT 4
5 LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 19
6 THE CREW UBISOFT
7 ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY UBISOFT 5
8 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 10
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 12
10 DRIVECLUB SONY COMPUTER ENT. 8
11 JUST DANCE 2015 UBISOFT
12 MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 11
13 POKEMON OMEGA RUBY NINTENDO 6
14 SUPER SMASH BROS. NINTENDO 13
15 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 DISNEY INFINITY 14
16 DESTINY ACTIVISION 17
17 POKEMON ALPHA SAPPHIRE NINTENDO 7
18 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT 10
19 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 20
20 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 9
< 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.

Train2Game News Student in BAFTA programme

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Indie Developer taught by Train2Game selected for BAFTA programme

Nicola Valcasara amongst the elite of the UK games industry accepted to join BAFTA Crew Games 2014

Professional video games creator who learnt his craft with Train2Game, joins experienced UK games developers in exclusive BAFTA scheme. Nicola Valcasara has taken one of 100 places available for Game Practitioners requiring at least two years professional experience in the games industry in the UK. The programme provides exclusive access to: Games Industry mentors, live QAs and podcasts, networking opportunities and scientific research in Game Design. 

Nicola has an outstanding reputation in the Train2Game community, having won a previous design competition with Rapid2D. He now works with another previous TrainGame student, Darroch McNaught, at Indie studio DeuXality Games. He’s set to learn a tremendous amount from  the course, masterclasses and online livestreams cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games 2014 is an interactive programme – working with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs.

Working with partners Creative Skillset and Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games 2014 will shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.

Nicola Valcasara, “I applied at the BAFTA Crew games 2014 in September, thanks to a research on the net about funding and game developing events. Now I have been accepted, this is a very nice way to show my face around and I hope it will move me one step further inside the Games Industry. This is a great opportunity to be involved in an interactive programme focused on making wonderful products and allowing me to meet important people in the game industry. I’ll also get to meet the other 99 people like me and share ideas and future projects.”