Train2Game News GameBlast15

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The gamers’ charity, SpecialEffect, is aiming to build on the success of its inaugural GameBlast gaming marathon weekend in 2014 by calling on the UK games industry and gaming community to sign up for GameBlast15 as they look to raise over £100k towards the charity’s work.

The event, the UK’s largest game-based fundraiser, takes place 20-22 February and already has some of the UK’s top games industry names behind it including Jagex, the company behind the hugely successful Runescape. Jagex is SpecialEffect’s original GameBlast partner and last year raised almost £50k for the charity’s work in helping people with disabilities to access video games.

Along with a major marathon stream from Jagex from Friday to Saturday, the UK gaming trade body, UKIE, is supporting the SpecialEffect fundraising effort by hosting GameBlast LIVE, a 24-hour gaming broadcast from its headquarters in London. This will run from Saturday to Sunday.

Dr Jo Twist, SpecialEffect Vice President and CEO of UKIE, explained why she is so keen to get behind the SpecialEffect fundraiser, ‘They [SpecialEffect] were one of the first groups I met when I started my Ukie role in 2012 and I was bowled over by their dedication, their passion and their love. The innovative work they do to enable young people enjoy the games they love is incredibly inspiring. Games and the ability to play can enhance and enrich people’s lives in so many ways and everyone should have the right to play.’

The event, hosted by Matt Cuttle, promises 24 hours of unadulterated gaming and madness as BBC Click presenter and SpecialEffect Vice President, Kate Russell, builds on the £7,500 she raised through her Elite:Dangerous livestream at Christmas by flying a 12 hour Elite marathon alongside other enthusiasts of Frontier’s iconic space travel game. But Kate will be taking a break from space travel to battle it out with Jo Twist using SpecialEffect eye-control technology as they compete live on Twitch for the fastest lap in Codemasters’ popular Dirt 3 motor racing game. 

Kate explained why she has done so much to raise money and awareness of the charity’s work, ‘Ever since I found out about Special Effect a couple of years ago – a charity dedicated to helping those with physical limitations through illness or injury have fun playing computer games – it has been my pleasure and honour to be able to help raise funds and awareness about their tireless and dedicated work’.

If you’d like to join industry names like Jagex, Gamer Network and Multiplay and join hundreds of other gamers across the UK in raising money for SpecialEffect through the GameBlast15 gaming marathon go to:

http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast-about

Train2Game News Slammed wrestling

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Choice of Games announced today that their text-based pro-wrestling RPG, “SLAMMED!” is now available on Steam.

The game is entirely text-based-without graphics or sound effects-and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

SLAMMED! is a 250,000-word interactive professional-wrestling novel by Paolo Chikiamco, where your choices determine how the story proceeds. The game is entirely text-based-without graphics or sound effects-but driven by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

In SLAMMED!, you’ve always dreamed of becoming pro wrestling’s biggest star…but the wrestler’s world is fraught with hardship and betrayal, in and out of the ring. Become a powerhouse, a technician, a high-flier, or focus on your promo skills. There’s more than one road to success.

But none of those roads will be easy. This is a world where your biggest fans are your harshest critics; where the front office is more dangerous than the squared circle; where friends can become enemies with a single heel turn; where, sometimes, the only way to win is to lose, spectacularly.

This is professional wrestling. And you’re about to change it, forever.

“Paolo Chikiamco has written an epic,” said Dan Fabulich, co-founder of Choice of Games. “His story conveys love for professional wrestling in a way that even non-fans can appreciate. In pro wrestling, even if the outcomes are scripted, the athletics-and the risks-are real. No one has complete control of what happens, and that’s where wrestling’s mystique lies. Someone might get really angry and turn a scripted match into an unscripted ‘shoot.’ Somebody might get hurt. SLAMMED! is about the blurred lines between reality and ‘kayfabe,’ the industry term for portraying scripted matches as genuine.”

There’s never been a professional wrestling game like this, a game where the outcome of your final match, your choice of opponent, and your relationships affect the ending. When’s the last time you played a pro-wrestling RPG with a “kayfabe” stat?-or where your trash-talking “promo” ability is as important as your core strength and wrestling technique?

                • Enjoy a 250,000-word personal tale of friendship, competition, and revenge.
                • Develop not only your physical abilities, but a favored wrestling style.
                • Become a heroic face, or a villainous heel-or even turn heel.
                • Turn a scripted match into a real fight-and vice versa.
                • Decide when to keep kayfabe, and when to break it.
                • Play as male or female, gay or straight.

It’s available for 26% off during launch week and can be obtained in the following link

http://store.steampowered.com/app/343370/

Train2Game News Syrinscape SoundSet Creator

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Syrinscape, developer of movie-like sounds for the tabletop gaming experience, including the officially licensed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game SoundPacks, announces today the open call for beta-testers for the new Syrinscape SoundSet Creator, a sound design app that gives the user the power to create and customize fantastic sound effects, environments, soundscapes, and music.

The Syrinscape SoundSet Creator is a massively powerful, but easy to use, sound-design tool, available on PC and Mac. With a user-friendly interface, the SoundSet Creator puts all of the sliders, dials, parameters, settings, and other functions that are used in-house by Syrinscape, now in the hands of the public.

Participants in the SoundSet Creator open beta event will have complete access to the SoundSet Creator app, and will be able to import their own sounds and meld them together to make their own unique creations, for the entire month of February. Participants will also receive access within the Creator to the four free pre-made SoundSets – Bugbear Battle, Witchwood, Blaster Battle, and Shipboard – with which they can experiment. The four SoundSets, along with any sounds users create, will be theirs to keep after the beta closes on February 28, 2015.

“The SoundSet Creator is a fantastic sound-design tool, not only for tabletop gamers, but also for teachers, filmmakers, musicians, sound engineers, and so on,” says Benjamin Loomes, creator of Syrinscape. “The possibilities are endless, and we can’t wait to hear about the fun and unique sounds the community comes up with!”

To sign-up for the event, and to receive the four free SoundSets, visit Syrinscape.com.

Train2Game News Design an Adventure Time character

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World-wide video game publisher, Little Orbit, announces a “Design an Adventure Time Character Contest” and challenges fans of the hit Cartoon Network series to create their very own Adventure Time character with the winning design appearing in the next soon-to-be-announced Adventure Time console video game.

Beginning January 27th, fans can submit their artwork and short character description, for a shot at joining Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Ice King and all their favorite Adventure Time characters on their next epic video game adventure.

WHAT: Design a new Adventure Time character for the next soon-to-be announced Adventure Time video game published by Little Orbit.

WHEN: January 27, 2015 – February 17, 2015

GRAND PRIZE: The winning design will appear in the next Adventure Time video game!

HOW: Email your design in a .jpg file no larger than 5MB to atcontest@littleorbit.com and include name, birth date (must be 13 years or older to win), address, phone number, email address and a two sentence character description. You must be a legal resident of the United States to be eligible. The winning character and artist will be announced on the Little Orbit Facebook page in early March.

For complete details and contest rules, please visit http://www.littleorbit.com/atcontest.html

Train2Game News 15th Game Developers Choice Awards

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The 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, has revealed its first two special award winners for this year.

The Ambassador Award, honoring someone who is helping video games “advance to a better place” through advocacy or action, is going to game designer and academic Brenda Romero, who has been a key figure in video games throughout more than three decades of standout game design, teaching and advocacy. The Pioneer Award, honoring breakthrough tech and game design milestones, is being awarded to David Braben, the co-creator of seminal 3D space exploration title  Elite – now in resurgence with  Elite: Dangerous – and co-founder of the foundation for the popular ‘hobbyist computer revival’ Raspberry Pi device.

Ambassador Award winner Romero, whose honor was bestowed after open nominations from the game development community, and voting by the Game Developers Choice Advisory Committee (http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/advisory.html) is an award-winning game designer and academic who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15.

She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry and a 2014 Fulbright fellow for her work with Ireland’s game industry, game academics and government to improve the industry overall. As a designer, she has contributed to many seminal titles, including the  Wizardry and  Jagged Alliance series. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games,  The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly  Train, which has been demonstrated at GDC on multiple occasions, and  Síochán Leat (The Irish Game), which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play. Brenda’s work advocating passionately for games – and the role of women in them – over the past three decades made her a natural choice for this award. Romero co-owns Loot Drop and Romero Games, and is also program director of the UC Santa Cruzmaster’s program in Games and Playable Media.

Pioneer Award winner David Braben co-developed the seminal ‘open world’ 3D space trading game  Elite with Ian Bell while at university in the early 1980s. The best-selling, startlingly expansive title had revolutionary 3D graphics and let the player make all kinds of intriguing moral decisions as they flew the known universe.  Elite saw a number of sequels, including the crowdfunded, currently much buzzed-about  Elite: Dangerous, and went on to be a big influence on games in the genre it helped create – from  Wing Commander to  No Man’s Sky and beyond.

In addition to his work on  Elite and his more than 30 years as a game developer – latterly at his major UK studio Frontier Developments – Braben was also involved in the genesis of the Raspberry Pi, a ‘hobbyist computer’ which enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to program in languages like Scratch and Python. Braben helped to found the Raspberry Pi Foundation and guide the program through to mass production – with more than 4 million of the devices now manufactured.

Finally, as part of the awards evening that includes both the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards, the team behind the  Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?  video series, Ashly and Anthony Burch, will once again contribute brand-new videos to the Independent Games Festival this year. They augment the efforts of ceremony favorites, the video game sketch anarchists Mega64, again returning to make videos for the Game Developers Choice Awards this year.

More information about the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards can be found on the official website at http://www.gamechoiceawards.com

Train2Game News P4Connect

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Perforce Software today announced the integration of its version management engine, P4D, and leading game development platform, Unity.

P4Connect integrates Perforce’s powerful versioning capabilities into the Unity platform, enabling gaming companies to significantly accelerate development workflows and better protect their digital assets. P4Connect is available for download at no charge from the Unity store or the Perforce website, and the tool’s source code is available from Perforce’s open-source workshop.

Unity is a flexible, high-performance engine and editor used by developers and designers to build games and applications across multiple platforms . P4Connect embeds Perforce’s P4D versioning engine into Unity’s development environment, giving users seamless access to key versioning capabilities and features—such as global code and asset management, tracked change history, and automation—with context menus and the Unity interface. By integrating the games industry’s most popular cross-platform development software and version management solution, P4Connect is enabling thousands of game studios—from indie developers to AAA game companies—to increase productivity and improve team collaboration.

The Perforce 20/20 Program enables indie developers and small studios to use the same versioning engine used by the leading AAA studios, free of charge. It includes telephone access to Perforce’s award winning technical support. Perforce also offers free educational licenses, used by leading academic institutions around the world, such as the Academy of Art University, Academy of Design and Objectif 3D.

Teams can begin using P4Connect immediately and without a Unity Pro or Team Unity license.

“We’re committed to supporting the next generation of game developers by providing the solid foundation they need to manage and protect all of their digital assets right from the start,” said Christopher Seiwald, founder and CEO of Perforce. “Whether they’re indie studios or AAA leaders, our customers will see a vast improvement in their workflows with P4Connect. It will allow them to focus their time on what they do best—game development, not the management of tools or workflows.”

To download P4Connect, please visit:
http://www.perforce.com/downloads/free/p4connect

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers competition

BAFTAThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the call for entries for the 2015 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition in association with Nominet Trust, which aims to inspire the UK’s game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own game. The winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July. Entries are now open at www.bafta.org/ygd until Monday 1 June.

Originally launched in 2010 for 11-16 year-olds, this year the age range for the competition has been expanded to include 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Entrants – who can be individuals or a team of up to three people – can choose to enter two creative categories: The YGD Game Concept Award, to create a concept for a new game; and the YGD Game Making Award, to make a game using freely available software. The winners will receive a host of prizes, including further development of their game with industry professionals.

Two new categories have also been added this year: The YGD Mentor Award, for an inspirational individual involved in the education of young game designers; and the YGD Hero Award, for a games industry professional who supports young game designers. The public can nominate their YGD Mentor, while the YGD Hero will be selected by BAFTA’s Games Committee.

The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity which gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. Support includes: a website (www.bafta.org/ygd) where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources that link the BAFTYA YGD competition to the national curriculum; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.

Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Bethesda Softworks, Criterion Games (an EA Studio), Google, Jagex, King, Pinewood Studios Group, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Unity, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Abertay University supports the development of the games of the winners of the BAFTA YGD competition.

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “The BAFTA YGD competition is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at game design and get feedback from the creative people behind their favourite games. The games industry is one of the biggest and most dynamic entertainment industries in the world; we hope this competition inspires entrants to consider a career in games, as well as helping them better appreciate the artistry involved in making games. We can’t wait to share the winners with the industry and public at the YGD Awards ceremony in July.”

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “If the UK is to retain its world-leading position in the creative industries, we need to develop a highly skilled workforce. The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition equips young people with the creative digital skills, understanding and connections that they need to become the games designers of the future. It’s exciting to see young people move from simply playing games to designing and making their own ones. Nominet Trust is proud to be supporting this vital initiative – I can’t wait to see what ideas and games entrants come up with!”

The winning games from 2014 – Tomatos Role from 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins, from Taunton, and AlienX from 15 year-old Adam Oliver – will be on show at BAFTA’s Inside Games Arcade in advance of the British Academy Games Awards in March.

For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to www.bafta.org/ygd.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 26.01.15

GTA VAn interesting chart this week. Grand Theft Auto V stays at number one for a third consecutive week which now makes it the first GTA title to reach a total of seven weeks at number one. Saint’s Row IV Re-elected: Gat out of hell debuts at number four. A big retailer promotion on Call of Duty: Ghosts helps boost sales by 401%, propelling it back into the Top ten, up from thirty to number five. Finally Rugby 15 from Big Ben/Koch debuts at number eight.

All formats

Week ending 24 January 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 1
2 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 3
3 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 2
4 SAINTS ROW IV RE-ELECTED/GAT OUT OF HELL DEEP SILVER
5 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION
6 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT 4
7 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 5
8 RUGBY 15 BIG BEN
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
10 THE CREW UBISOFT 6
11 DESTINY ACTIVISION 9
12 ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY UBISOFT 8
13 LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 10
14 DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION EA GAMES 14
15 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 17
16 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 11
17 JUST DANCE 2015 UBISOFT 13
18 MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 18
19 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 12
20 SUPER SMASH BROS. NINTENDO 15
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2015 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 Agoraphobic works toward dream with Train2Game

Bryan CoadyBryan Coady, 31 years old, from Birmingham, suffers from Agoraphobia and General Anxiety Disorder. This has resulted in a fear of leaving his house. Being diagnosed with a condition can often affect someone’s life plans and career prospects. But Bryan Coady hasn’t let his medical condition stand in the way and is studying with Train2Game to get qualifications to enter the Games Industry.

“My illness started just after I left school. I started working and very soon after it started getting harder and harder to leave the house. I then had a panic attack and could no longer leave the house. I was diagnosed by the doctors a while ago now. They found out about my condition after the panic attack and I got restricted to my house. I need my family to go out to the shops for me while I’m restricted to my home.”

“I discovered Train2Game and now I’m on the Game Developer course version 2, I believe that I will pass with a great grade. I have joined ‘Unique Intelligence Games’ at www.uigames.co.uk, we are all Train2Game students. It’s a great group of people. We help each other and have a great time doing it. We haven’t started on a game yet as we are still getting the team together.”

“As I have been restricted to my home traditional learning wasn’t an option for me. I started Train2Game about a year and a half ago now. It’s really good as you can control how long you study and when you study. I can learn it at home at my own pace and meet good people along the way. It has given me the chance to get a job and qualified in game development.

“I think Train2Game has had a very positive affect on my life from finding new friends to training to get a master’s degree. I have found the projects at the end of section 2 tough but I’m slowly getting there. I hope to be finished in a few months from now. I would recommend this course to anyone who has dreams of making games that lack the knowledge but has the drive.”

“My dream is to be a game developer with a big company with a team that are willing to make our dreams of making games come true. I hope for people to feel the rush I do playing our games for the first time. For anyone thinking of taking the course I would say determination is everything and it can overcome anything.”

Train2Game News Jagex to host SpecialEffect for Gameblast

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Jagex Games Studio, creators and custodians of the fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape and the upcoming online multiplayer action game, Block N Load, is to lead the way in SpecialEffect’s upcoming GameBlast15 games marathon weekend.

The event, which takes place between 20th and 22nd February, launches a 24-hour gamer challenge to raise money and help enable individuals with physical disabilities play games.

During the inaugural GameBlast in 2014, the RuneScape and Ace of Spades: Battle Builder communities raised more than £48,000 for SpecialEffect, and more than 90,000 viewers watched Jagex’s livestream of gameplay, interviews, and real-world challenges. In addition to holding another marathon livestream from Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, RuneScape players will also benefit from a double XP weekend.

“SpecialEffect is a cause that’s very close to our hearts at Jagex. We had a lot of fun last year with our livestream for GameBlast14, so it’s fantastic to get stuck in once again and get even more involved in GameBlast15,” said Phil Mansell, vice president of RuneScape. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Mick and the SpecialEffect team to Jagex, as well as holding our own 24-hour marathon and double XP weekend, next month.”

David Solari, vice president of Block N Load, added “The Ace of Spades: Battle Builder community were really supportive during GameBlast14, so we can’t wait to see how the burgeoning Block N Load player base performs this year. We’re currently in the beta phase of development, so the 24-hour GameBlast marathon will really put the game through its paces ahead of its launch!”

“We were simply stunned by the amazing generosity of the Jagex community during last year’s GameBlast, and honoured that they’re gearing up for another 24 hours of activity in February,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and director of SpecialEffect. “Having such a major force in the gaming industry backing our work helping people with disabilities is a great boost, and I’m personally really looking forward to being at Jagex HQ during the event to be part of their GameBlast heroics.”

Hosting SpecialEffect and taking part in GameBlast15 is the first of a number of fundraising drives for planned by the Jagex throughout 2015. During 2014, the studio and its passionate RuneScape community raised more than $300,000 for good causes, including Oxfam and SpecialEffect. RuneScape was also the first games partner of United for Wildlife, and helped to raise awareness of the plight facing the world’s rhinos with a series of in-game quizzes and limited edition virtual pets.