Train2Game News Nintendo Labo Now Available

You can now experience a whole new way to interact with Nintendo Switch as you Make, Play and Discover with Nintendo Labo.

Now available at retailers nationwide, Nintendo Labo kits offer interactive build-and-play experiences that combine the magic of the Nintendo Switch system with the fun of DIY creations. In celebration of the launch, Nintendo unveiled a new online destination for you to share your Nintendo Labo creations and enter for a chance to win special Nintendo Labo prizes.

With each Nintendo Labo kit, building and discovery are designed to be just as much fun as playing, which is why the experience is categorized into three key pillars: Make, Play and Discover.

  • Make: Transform modular sheets of cardboard into interactive creations called Toy-Con – from a 13-key piano to a motorbike, a robot suit and more.
  • Play: After they are built, combine the Toy-Con creations with the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers in creative ways to enjoy a variety of game-play experiences.
  • Discover: Learn how Nintendo Switch technology works together with each Toy-Con project. With Toy-Con Garage mode, a feature included with the software in each Nintendo Labo kit, you can invent new ways to play with your Toy-Con projects.

“As with anything we do at Nintendo, our primary goal with Nintendo Labo is to make people smile,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, we hope the playful spirit of Nintendo Labo ignites imagination and creativity in people of all ages as they interact with Nintendo Switch in new ways.”

For some initial inspiration, Nintendo Labo owners can visit the user-generated content (UGC) hub to see a dapperly decorated RC Car created by TV personality and “Science Guy” Bill Nye, who recently took Nintendo Labo for a spin and spent time tinkering with Toy-Con Garage. Check out Bill Nye’s full Nintendo Labo experience here.

Throughout the next few weeks, the UGC website will also feature custom Toy-Con creations from popular social media influencers and Toy-Con Garage inventions from Nintendo employees.

Starting today, you can submit your own creations to the site by signing in with your free Nintendo Account. Fans in the U.S. or Canada who are 13 years old or older can also choose to enter their creations in the limited-time Nintendo Labo Creators Contest for a chance to win a Nintendo Labo prize package, including a Nintendo Labo kit, a special jacket and a signed framed certificate. Learn more about the contest and upload your submissions here: https://labo.nintendo.com/share/#!/contest/.

The first two Nintendo Labo kits (available now) are the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit.

  • The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit ($69.99MSRP*** USD) includes all the necessary materials and software to create five different Toy-Con projects:

-RC Car: The RC Car is powered by vibrations in the Joy-Con controllers and can follow a path of reflective tape by using the IR Motion Camera in the right Joy-Con controller – it even works in the dark! Materials to build two RC Cars are included, so two players can race or battle each other!

-Fishing Rod: Build a working rod and reel, and then go fishing on the screen of your Nintendo Switch console to catch a variety of exotic fish. You can also enter Aquarium mode – accessed via Toy-Con Piano – to view all the fish you’ve caught or even design your own colorful fish.

-House: Insert different blocks into your newly constructed House to interact with the adorable creature inside. Combining multiple blocks can unlock special features and mini-games, including an exhilarating mine cart ride!

-Motorbike: Rev the throttle of your Motorbike by twisting the right handle, just like the real thing! You can even create and race on tracks you design.

-Piano: Compose and record music using different octaves, reverb and sound effects – even cat noises!

  • With Nintendo Labo Robot Kit ($79.99 MSRP*** USD), you can build a wearable robot suit, including a backpack and visor, which allows you to assume control of a huge on-screen robot. Smash buildings and UFOs in Robot Mode, make sound effects using your Toy-Con Robot in Robo Studio or customize your in-game robot in the Hangar. With an additional Nintendo Labo Robot Kit and set of Joy-Con, you can even battle against a friend in multiplayer mode using just one Nintendo Switch system!
  • A Customization Set ($9.99 MSRP*** USD) is also available, which includes colorful tape, stencils and Nintendo themed stickers to decorate your Toy-Con creations. When it comes to decorating your Toy-Con projects, almost anything will work! Try some of your favorite arts-and-crafts supplies, like markers or paint.

For more information about Nintendo Labo, visit https://labo.nintendo.com/.

Train2Game Alexa wants you to tell a story

A team of Texas gaming developers have launched a groundbreaking Alexa-based multi-player game that is taking gaming creativity to a new level. The ‘Story Builder’ Alexa Skill unleashes storytellers around the world to collaborate on new works – one line at a time – using just their imaginations and voices.

“Story Builder is unique to Alexa Skills because it’s all about tapping the immense creative potential of Alexa users,” said Lazy Samurais’ Dayan Yar. “Story Builder inspires hive-mind storytelling – multiple people are creating sagas that are not only completely new, but undreamt of by any single storyteller.”

The Austin-based game studio Lazy Samurais says Story Builder is available exclusively as an Alexa Skill, the DIY gaming platform offered by the popular Amazon cloud-based voice-service.

Alexa users simply active Story Builder from the Alexa Store, and start creating.

“You can say, ‘Alexa, create a story,’ and recite the first line of an entirely new tale,” Dayan explains. “Story Builder will read the story to other players around the world, asking them to add a line on a first-come, first served basis.” Each player contributes one line and the story grows and changes as it is shared. “The outcome is completely unpredictable and the possibilities are endless,” Dayan said.

“Creative writers don’t have to be nailed to their keyboards, working alone, anymore,” Dayan added. “Collaborating and tapping the amazing creativity of others is now incredibly simple. Story Builder is a real game-changer.”
Dayan said the launch version of Story Builder will have a 20-line maximum per story. “With a line limit, story tellers focus on a beginning, middle and end. The fun will be in the twists and turns the story takes as different creatives add a line at a time.”

Lazy Samurai is exploring variable story lengths for future versions. “The initiating story teller may select short, medium or long, with preset line limits for each one,” Dayan says. “There is unlimited creative potential in the concept, and we definitely want to integrate feedback from players about how improve the experience.”

Also, players can also create private stories with their Facebook friends. “It’s a fantastic new way to use Facebook,” he Dayan adds. “You get to launch a Story Builder session with the creative people you already know.”

Story Builder has other built-in features that add to the experience. “You can participate in multiple stories at the same time and get updates as stories develop,” Dayan said. Story Builder also allows gamers to rate stories, hear completed stories, and listen to Story Builder’s ‘Top Rated’ list anytime.

Train2Game News Ready Player One a reality?

A group of talented gaming industry veterans with over a century of combined experience working at leading publishers such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Electronic Arts have teamed up to form 8 Circuit Studios, a video game developer focused on utilizing blockchain technology to redefine the rules that govern digital interactive entertainment content. 8 Circuit Studios’ mission is to develop a new ecosystem for gaming that allows all participants — gamers, developers and publishers — to collaborate and work together seamlessly, with each group reaping the benefits.

By harnessing the potential of blockchains and cryptocurrency, 8 Circuit Studios believes that the Metaverse – a digital universe envisioned by authors William Gibson and Neal Stephenson and featured in Ready Player One, TRON and The Matrix – is closer to reality than we may think. In the Metaverse, visitors can traverse different virtual environments, maintaining an illusion of reality throughout – with a consistent, yet privacy-protected avatar, carrying with them the various objects that maintain usefulness and utility within (yet also specific to) each reality.

“At 8 Circuit Studios, we believe that games are portals to new worlds and experiences,” said James Mayo, Navigator and President of 8 Circuit Studios. “By leveraging the power of blockchains and cryptocurrency, game developers finally have the last piece necessary to build a functional Metaverse. Step one is making blockchains easy and fun to use, while the second step is showing people they can actually own their digital stuff in a completely new way. With blockchains, players never have to ask for permission from an authority to give, trade or even sell their digital assets.”

By using the Ethereum blockchain, 8 Circuit Studios is able to create, attribute and safeguard digital assets — based on Smart Game Objects — that you can own and store, along with your cryptocurrency, in a virtual wallet. By developing Smart Game Objects, 8 Circuit Studios is building the foundation for eliminating the barriers between game worlds, while also creating a platform to make entry easy for both gamers and developers. Players will experience the opportunity to truly own their Smart Game Objects, while game developers and publishers will find new, exciting and profitable methods to develop even more highly immersive games.

To better illustrate Smart Game Objects and showcase the Ethereum blockchain’s real-world use, 8 Circuit Studios is currently developing two games: Alien Arsenal: Battle for the Blockchain, releasing in Spring 2018, and the self-aware A.I. focused D-PARC, releasing in 2019.

Alien Arsenal: Battle for the Blockchain – A mobile game for iOS and Android, Alien Arsenal: Battle for the Blockchain is a cooperative boss battling game where players collaborate with others to defeat invading bosses to win prizes and glory. Collect and evolve an arsenal of aliens, then trade, buy, sell and/or gift them with complete freedom on the Ethereum blockchain. Alien Arsenal is designed to make it easy and fun to play with blockchains without having to download wallets, plugins or navigate the often confusing world of cryptocurrencies.

D-PARC – A deep space survival game for console and Windows PC, D-PARCallows players to create a character that can live forever on the blockchain. D-PARC fuses first-person shooter gameplay with space combat in a galaxy where choices matter and have permanent consequences. Players inhabit an A.I. that learns that it must choose between self-sacrifice to save the last vestiges of the human race or opt for self-determination to embark on its own destiny.

For more information about 8 Circuit Studios, visit https://8circuitstudios.com.

Train2Game News GameGuru Game Engine Upgrade

TheGameCreators today announced the long-awaited release of the newly upgraded graphics engine for GameGuru, giving everyone the ability to render their games using Physically Based Rendering (PBR) shaders for improved visuals and thanks to DirectX 11, improved frame rates.

Lee Bamber, CEO of TheGameCreators, said “The task of swapping out an entire graphics engine was tough, but we got stuck in and made it happen. Along the way, however, we did not lose sight of other features that our great community wanted to see, and we made sure that users not necessarily interested in better graphics also had something to look forward to.”

This major update to GameGuru includes:

Great Assets and Levels

  • Improved the Welcome splash to show off PBR game level
  • Updated Big Escape level to use PBR only assets
  • Added new ‘Miscellaneous’ folder with ‘Massive Chess’ for Chess Game sample
  • Security Fence and Gate
  • Added ‘Preview Orbs’ folder to Misc models for PBR material previewing
  • Added CityscapePBR folder which contains extra PBR assets for Big Escape
  • Added two new Grand Pianos to the Furniture folder
  • Added a new glass fence to the Fixtures folder

Much Improved Performance

  • Removed long-silence when standalone first runs (slow on some systems)
  • Launch time loading speed increased significantly (PCTEST: 60sec -> 12sec)
  • HLSL shaders and LUA scripts now compiled into binary for faster loading
  • Faster HUD rendering due to quad batching
  • Multicore AI for faster processing of character AI

Better Visuals

  • New post process shader used called FXAA-CV-LS (improves anti-alias and contrast)
  • Fixed issue with Steam Overlay not rendering correctly
  • Enlarged editor icons and gave them a new design
  • Cascade shadow mapping now with 8 cascades instead of 4
  • Standalone splash screen now detects closest watermark resolution
  • Can change sky shader in sky file and sky in realtime

And more……..

  • Added full weapon and animation behaviour to the Character Creator
  • More control over static light mapper
  • Added support for Logitech F310 controller to control Standalone menus
  • Improved FBX importing
  • Added lots of new LUA commands

At the start of the year TheGameCreators opened up the source code of GameGuru so their community could help expand and improve the game maker and received a tremendous response. Amongst the contributions from the community was an entire Chess Game, complete with board, chess pieces and the logic to run the entire chess game, including computer opponent to play against. A great demonstration of the power of the LUA scripting language for making GameGuru level logic.

Lee Bamber continued, “We hope our existing users enjoy this update and that new users are encouraged to try their hand at game making with GameGuru. We have more PBR assets and new features in the pipeline, with more help and advice for game-makers along the way. Our aim is to make your journey into game-making that little bit easier.”

Further information is available at https://www.game-guru.com

Train2Game News Wearable SDK

Tap Systems, Inc., the company behind the Tap wearable keyboard and mouse, announced today they have released a developer SDK.

The released software kit enables interested developers to design applications that incorporate and/or include the Tap wearable and its functionality. The Tap device is a comfortable wearable that sits at the base of your fingers and senses finger taps as input. Connecting to any Bluetooth enabled device, Tap users can currently compose text, play games, point, click and scroll using just about any available surface.

“Since Tap’s inception we’ve been contacted by everyone from mobile game and language input developers, to folks developing for accessibility use and even enterprise,” said Dovid Schick, CEO and Founder of Tap Systems. “The Tap has so much potential and we are excited to share our SDK with the developer community to see what amazing applications and uses people come up with.”

Interested game developers can now create novel gameplay experiences and increase engagement by utilizing the precision and diversity of Tap’s input. These games can easily be ported between mobile, console and desktop platforms while preserving the same game interface. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality developers can now use Tap for eyes-free control and input for their virtual environments. Language Input developers will now be able to apply Tap for other languages and custom alphabets.

Tap System’s released toolset includes SDKs for both iOS and Android, a plug-in for Unity, as well as example applications and documentation. The company has also released an API to enable any BLE enabled platform to interface directly with the Tap wearable.

Interested developers can sign up to be a part of our Tap Developer community for updates, news and support: https://www.tapwithus.com/developers .

Train2Game News Enter the Purple Dragon

Spyro has been unleashed! He’s all scaled up and ready to flare up some bad guys in Spyro™ Reignited Trilogy, a dynamic gaming collection that’s going to have fans “Spyro-ing” out of control on 21st September.

In Spyro™ Reignited Trilogy, gliding to new heights, unleashing fire-breathing attacks, and exploring lush environments is more fun in HD graphical glory on PlayStation® 4, PlayStation® 4 Pro and the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X.

Spyro™ Reignited Trilogy introduces players to a fully remastered game collection of the three original Spyro™ games that started the phenomenon: Spyro™ the Dragon, Spyro™ 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro™: Year of the Dragon. The Spyro™ Reignited Trilogy is available now to pre-order via major retailers.

In celebration of Spyro’s 20th anniversary, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) is bringing the heat to fans before his official return this September. As a throwback to the original Spyro unveil, starting Monday, 9th April Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy players in Europe, Australia and Latin America on PlayStation 4 can enter the iconic code (↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → square) into their controllers in the Crash Bandicoot™ 3: Warped title screen to watch the Spyro Reignited Trilogy trailer.

Remade from the ground up by lead developer Toys for Bob, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy features the fun and nostalgic gameplay that fans remember with more than 100 levels, enhanced reward sequences, Spyro’s gang of zany dragons and other goofballs (including Sparx the Dragonfly, Hunter, Sheila, Agent 9 and Sgt. Byrd) and more. The trilogy also includes improved environments, updated controls, brand-new lighting and recreated cinematics for added flavour in this one-of-a-kind adventure.

“We’re deeply passionate about staying true to the legacy of the original three Spyro games with the Spyro Reignited Trilogy,” said Paul Yan, Chief Creative Officer, at Toys For Bob. “We’ve poured a lot of love into making the personalities and worlds feel just like fans remember them, while also keeping the game collection surprisingly fresh with lush, high definition detail. We’re bringing back the Spyro we all fell in love with 20 years ago.”

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is an awesome gaming experience that builds on the excellence of the first three games. Each level in Spyro Reignited Trilogy is mapped faithfully from the originals. The characters are creatively re-imagined with additional flair allowing fans to rekindle the fire with Spyro and his crew like never-before. Players will experience a trilogy that’s loaded with an astonishing amount of detail, refreshed modern day mechanics, full analog stick support and smooth camera handling. Spyro Reignited Trilogy also re-imagines Stewart Copeland’s original soundtrack from the first three games.

Paying homage to fans, Tom Kenny, the original voice actor in Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, has returned as the voice of Spyro in the trilogy Spyro Reignited Trilogy. For more information, please visit www.SpyroTheDragon.com and follow @SpyroTheDragon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.