Train2Game News Crowdfest Gaming Workshop

Crowdfest will host an interactive Gaming workshop with some of the most influential leaders in the gaming industry, from Travis Winstanley Games Director at Kuju, to Thomas Bidaux, Co-Founder of ICO Partners and Tom Leigh from Crowdcube, 19-20th October in London.
The games industry has always been quick to embrace new trends, and so it’s no surprise that prior to 2012, video games developers were amongst the first to adopt crowdfunding as a method of raising finance.

In this interactive Gaming workshop, budding developers will discover what’s hot and what’s not in video games crowdfunding, how to structure campaigns to maximise changes of success, and hear top tips from game developers that have been successful in their efforts to utilise the crowd.

Speakers include Tom Leigh, Director at Crowdcube. Travis Winstanley, Games Investment Director at Kuju, Thomas Bidaux, Co-Founder of ICO Partners and James Gibbs Co-founder of F6S. 

Audience members will also have the opportunity to question a number of companies that have successfully crowdfunded their ideas including Alexis Kennedy of Failbetter Games, Jay Armstrong of Massive Monster and Moo Yu of Foam Sword.

Train2Game News GameFounders Investors


Since 2012, GameFounders has invested into 60 fresh and talented game studios from 26 countries. 
All game studios around the world can apply at gamefounders.com until November 15, 2016. The main criteria of the evaluation are the team composition, their vision and the quality of work the team can produce.

If selected, the studio will have access to over 150 gaming mentors and partners from the best studios in the world. On top of that, GameFounders will provide a seed capital of 25,000 USD  in exchange for a moderate share of equity. 

The shortlisted teams are expected to have a beta version, prototype or slice of the game and absolutely be ready to set up a business. The upcoming 3-month cycle, the seventh for GameFounders, takes off in January 2017 in the gorgeous city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The top game mentors to be working with the teams are also the ones shortlisting the final lineup.

Gamefounders’ Success Stories:

●      Bad Seed Entertainment from Italy – Raised investment from Mind the Bridge and United Ventures.

●      IMGNATION Studio from Brazil – Raised investment from US based VR accelerator Boost VC and is now one of the pioneers of VR development in Brazil.

●      Tiny Lab Productions from Lithuania – Reached 10 million downloads for their game Tiny Kids Racing

●      Bitcake Studio from Brazil – Launched their game Holodrive and grew their players from 10k to a million and recently won “Best Technology” in SBGames 2016.

●      OY Games from Malaysia – Won the Audience Choice Award at Casual Connect 2016.

Train2Game News SimBin Studios in the UK

SimBin Studios, renowned for their racing games is back in business with a brand new UK office in the North-West of England. 
The Studio is to be headed up by industry veteran, Allan Speed and in collaboration with Sector3 Studios. The focus will be on developing cross platform titles for the current and next gen platforms, primarily in the racing genre.

‘We are extremely excited to announce the collaboration with newly formed SimBin Studios UK being headed up by Allan, his industry knowledge and talent network will provide the perfect spring board for our future strategy and let’s not forget the revival of the Simbin name which has a long, rich and successful heritage in delivering some of the best racing titles to date’ said Chris Speed, CEO of Sector3 Studios.

Sector3 Studios and Simbin Studios UK have also partnered up with racing driver Mathias Lauda to provide his expertise, insight and support for their up and coming racing projects.

Mathias Lauda is an Austrian race driver and is the son of three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda.

Sector3 Studios AB is a Swedish game developer currently working on RaceRoom Racing Experience, a F2P title available on Steam and committed to the creation of realistic championship experiences for motorsport series worldwide, including; DTM, ADAC GT Masters, and the WTCC.

For more information contact: www.simbin.com

Train2Game News NES Classic Edition

The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition console, anticipated to be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, launches on Nov. 11 at a suggested retail price of only $59.99. 
The system includes 30 classic NES games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, plus a replica of the original NES controller that can also be used with NES Virtual Console games on the Wii or Wii U systems. And the games look sharper than ever using the included HDMI cable.

Maybe you’ve heard some of that before, but did you also know the system can be played in three different display modes? Or that games can be saved at any time using Suspend Points? Or how about the fact that all of the games’ original manuals can be viewed by scanning an on-screen QR Code with a smart device? Well, now you know! As the 1980s would say: “Tubular!”

“Be the cool dad, mom, aunt, uncle or best friend by gifting someone this holiday season with the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This perfectly sized stocking stuffer could produce the same level of excitement that people felt over 30 years ago when they received the original NES as kids.”

Whether you have fond NES memories or want to introduce yourself and your kids to the video games that made Nintendo a household name, you’ll love the compact and attractive console. The hub of the NES Classic Edition is the HOME Menu, which can be used to access all 30 of the classic NES games. From here, you can adjust various settings or just dive into a game and start playing. To help locate games quickly and easily, you can press the Select button to sort by title, two-player games, recently played games, number of times played, release date and publisher. 

To make sure every Goomba stomp looks as authentic as possible, all games can be played in three display modes. With the CRT filter, a scan-line effect is added to the screen to give everything that oh-so-retro look and feel. 4:3 is a sharp, clean look that adheres to the original aspect ratio used by the NES. And when playing in Pixel Perfect mode, every pixel is shown as a perfect square, providing the most accurate representation of the games as they were originally designed.

Retro gaming is defined in part by the search for save spots and the need to enter long passwords, but in practice, those tasks can definitely be a little … um … time consuming. While all aspects of the original 30 NES games are intact, Suspend Points have been added to streamline the experience of playing them. At any point during gameplay, simply press the console’s Reset button to return to the HOME Menu and save a Suspend Point that will let you pick up right where you left off. Up to four Suspend Points can be saved per game, so you can track the progress of multiple players or file away your favorite moments. This is great news for parents, as their kids won’t be able to use the “I’ll be there when I get to the next save point!” excuse any more when dinner is ready.

In a nice touch of physical meets digital, each of the game’s original manuals can be viewed online, opening a window to the glory days of unboxing an NES game and leafing through its beautifully illustrated booklet. All you have to do now is scan a QR Code from the HOME Menu to pull up the entire manual on your smart device or access the provided website to view the manual in all its nostalgic glory on your computer.

Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is a little more than a month away! To learn more about the system while you wait for it to launch on Nov. 11 (and to view the list of all 30 playable NES games), visit http://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic

Train2Game News VR Animation

Limitless, Ltd. today announced a new cloud-based animation toolset that allows rapid prototyping of animated VR content inside a virtual reality world. For the first time ever, anyone working on VR content can intuitively animate characters in real time within the VR world itself – and accomplish this at least 16 times faster than with current animation software.  By making VR content faster and easier to create, developers can run more experiments and create more compelling content for VR, including games and films that involve interactive character’s.

The new animation toolset is the first-of-its-kind and does not require professional training.  Limitless CEO and Founder Tom Sanocki saw the need for great VR content, but was watching VR directors and animators spend countless hours going back and forth between computer software and the VR environment where the content lives. Putting VR content creation inside the actual VR world eliminates the time-consuming back-and-forth between the computer and the VR environment, and also allows those without professional training to become VR animators on the spot.

According to Sanocki, “We are all animators at heart – we learned at an early age by playing with our toys.  We just need to remove the barrier formed by our software so we can all create stories using the inspiration that we already have inside of us.”

“I’ve seen the future of VR animation, and Limitless is getting it right,” said Bobby Beck, CEO/Founder Artella and CEO/Founder Animation Mentor.  “They are paving the way in VR animation for both professionals and the masses.”

The animation editing tools in the Limitless Creative VR Environment are strong enough for developers to use for prototyping, yet easy enough for anyone to animate.  Using a VR headset and hand controllers in the Limitless Creative VR Environment enables rapid prototyping for newcomers that would otherwise require weeks of intensive professional training. Plus, Limitless has a tutorial character within the VR environment to help walk anyone through the animation process.  Film directors, for example, can change the way a character moves, looks or acts instantly in real time.

Professional animator Jon Collins, who has previously worked at Pixar, ILM, Blue Sky, Blizzard, and ToyTalk, currently leads UX and animation as the Creative Director at Limitless.  “As a layout tool, this dramatically increases the rate at which sequences can be assembled and iterated on in CG. What would have normally taken me an entire day to do,  I can now accomplish in less than an hour,” said Collins.

“It has always frustrated me that although I can visualize motion and timing quickly and easily, the process of replicating these movements in CG with traditional animation software is time consuming and non-intuitive,” Collins added. “With the Limitless Creative VR Environment, both of these restrictions can be overcome in a matter of hours by anyone. By connecting a person’s innate ability to move their own body in beautifully rhythmic ways directly to VR characters in real time, the process of animation becomes much more intuitive and enjoyable.”

The Limitless animation tools can be used with any VR environment and character that has been imported into this part of the Limitless Creative VR Environment platform.  In October, the company will be opening the platform and animation tools to a small group of studios and partners to make sure the company is solving the right VR problems while keeping content creation easy.

Sanocki concluded, “Right now the biggest need in VR is good content and that is largely driven by characters. Forming a deep emotional connection with the characters we care about hits the core of mainstream entertainment. Our platform solves the tricky task of creating interactive characters in VR, and now makes it easy for anyone to animate those characters in real time.”

Train2Game News Huge VR Investment

​Another half a billion dollars was invested into virtual and augmented reality startups in the third quarter of this year, with a record $2.3 billion dollars invested in the last 12 months.
Q3 2016 saw the 9th straight quarter of investment trending upwards, as the money flowing into AR/VR is now being driven by major Sand Hill Road VCs and corporate investors. With check sizes averaging $9.3 million (or $16.4 million excluding seed deals) in the quarter, AR/VR investment is rapidly going mainstream. Details are in Digi-Capital’s new Augmented/Virtual Reality Report and Deals Database.

The mainline VC and corporate world accounted for 86% of the number of investors in AR/VR startups in the third quarter. The big name financial investors included Fidelity, Intel Capital, Softbank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Sequoia, DCM, Qualcomm Ventures, Raine, CITIC and more. The roster of corporate investors joining the fun added Amazon, Alibaba and News Corp. So while specialist AR/VR VCs drove the early investment market, growing confidence and check sizes has led to the number of mainstream investors accelerating.

Excluding Magic Leap’s massive rounds in 2014 and at the start of this year, the overall growth trend for AR/VR investment has now been upwards for over 2 years. In the context of more general concerns about tech market investment, that continued confidence on the part of serious investors that virtual, augmented and mixed reality are the fourth wave of consumer technology change is even more impressive.

As investment has continued to grow, the balance of where the money is going has become broader. While Magic Leap’s $793.5 million round was astonishing, it took less than $4 of every $10 invested into the market. VR/AR solutions/services was the next largest category, with video following close behind including NextVR’s $80 million round from heavyweights like CITIC, Netease and Softbank. Moving beyond AR head mounted displays (“HMDs”), VR HMDs still took in a respectable level of investment despite the presence of major corporate competitors like Facebook, Samsung, Sony and HTC/Valve. AR/VR peripherals, games, advertising/marketing, applications, tech and distribution startups also raised substantial amounts.

As the AR/VR market goes through the well-trodden path of hype cycle, facing reality, liftoff and maturity, the smart money is looking to the long term. VR will be big. AR will be bigger (and take longer). While exact market timing is impossible to predict (as evidenced by the unanticipated success of Pokémon Go), folks who know how early stage investment markets work are betting increasingly heavily on AR/VR’s potential.

To help foster growing AR/VR investment, Digi-Capital is holding its private quarterly Reality Check forum for AR/VR CEOs, corporate divisional heads and VC General Partners to do deals and solve industry issues in October.