Train2Game News Game Dev Heroes

A new search for excellence in the games industry was announced today as the Game Dev Heroes initiative officially launched.

The only national awards ceremony to celebrate game developers for their individual contributions to their studios, teams and projects, the Game Dev Heroes aim to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes and hidden visionaries behind our favourite titles. Game Dev Heroes are now calling on industry professionals to nominate their studio’s heroes.

Anyone in the studio could be a winner, with categories spanning development, management, marketing and community, the studio ‘Unsung Hero’, and ‘Diversity Champion’. The submission deadline is Tuesday 19th June 2018. An award will also be given to highlight a member of the industry for their Outstanding Contribution, which will be chosen by the judging panel.

The awards are already garnering support with Aardvark Swift, GamesJobsDirect, Analog and Launchpad announced as the first sponsors. The judging panel is set to be announced shortly, composed of industry professionals across HR and senior management, who’ll be able to dig deep into the applications and really comprehend the achievements of those nominated. Simon Hope, Director and Lead Recruiter at headline sponsor Aardvark Swift, said ‘We’re delighted to be part of such a brilliant initiative. Games, projects and studios can only be as strong and successful as their dev team are, and we should recognise and celebrate those who’re making a personal contribution. We speak to so many talented people every single day who’re personally doing phenomenal things – those individuals deserve to be celebrated.’

The award winners are set to be announced on Tuesday 10th July as part of a Game Dev Heroes networking event, held in Brighton throughout Develop Conference week. The event is free to attend but will be ticketed entry – to be notified when tickets are available head over to http://www.gamedevheroes.co and sign up to the mailing list.

Please direct any queries relating to nominations, judging or sponsorship to
info@gamedevheroes.co and head over to www.gamedevheroes.co to take part.

Train2Game News New Fallout Game

Fans were glued to Bethesda’s daylong Twitch stream and were rewarded when the game publisher dropped a bombshell on Wednesday.

After teasing the world by streaming a TV showing a “Please Stand By” test pattern on the Bethesda Twitch channel, the company announced the latest entry in the Fallout universe: Fallout 76.

The annual E3 video game trade show is just weeks away, but it seems Bethesda couldn’t wait that long to make its first big announcement.

The company has also recently updated a few of its biggest franchises, releasing VR and Nintendo Switch versions of Skyrim and Doom, and a VR version of 2015’s Fallout 4.

The short trailer showed nothing more than a resident of one of the game’s unground vaults putting on a Pip-Boy wearable computer and getting ready to celebrate “reclamation day.” His jumpsuit had the number “76” stitched on the back.

No other details were available about the new game, but more information may be available at E3. And this may not be the only new Bethesda game news you’ll be hearing soon. The company is planning an E3 press event in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 10.

You can enjoy the teaser below https://youtu.be/-ye84Zrqndo

Source: Cnet

Train2Game News Huge Pokémon Game Announcement

During a special Pokémon press conference in Tokyo today, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced three new ways to play Pokémon for Nintendo Switch™—Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, and the free-to-start Pokémon Quest.

With the addition of these new titles, Pokémon is broadening the scope of video game offerings from the franchise to appeal to its wide variety of fans at all player levels. Pokémon also announced that the next introduction to its popular core RPG series, which was teased last year at E3, will arrive in late 2019 on Nintendo Switch for the first time.

Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!

With Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, Pokémon is inviting fans on a new journey by taking them back to a familiar setting. Inspired by Pokémon Yellow, which was originally released in Japan on Nintendo’s Game Boy in 1998, these two new titles feature many of the intuitive gameplay functions offered to players in the hugely popular Pokémon GO and are designed for players taking their first steps into the Pokémon video game world. Trainers will embark on an epic adventure set in the iconic Kanto region joined by their trusty Pikachu in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Eevee in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! They feature brand new gameplay to make the most of the unique capabilities of Nintendo Switch, such as throwing Poké Balls to catch Pokémon by swinging Joy-Con™ controllers, as well as the opportunity for family and friends to battle and explore together in a new two-player mode. The games were unveiled in partnership with GAME FREAK, the games’ developers and original creators of the Pokémon video game franchise.

“With the launch of Pokémon GO in 2016 and the global sensation that ensued, millions of new players were introduced to the world of Pokémon,” said Junichi Masuda, director at GAME FREAK inc. “For many people, Pokémon GO was their first experience with the Pokémon brand, so we have crafted these two new titles to be an accessible entry point to our core RPG series while giving our longtime fans a new way to play Pokémon.”

The connection between these two new titles and Pokémon GO doesn’t end there – literally. GAME FREAK and The Pokémon Company teamed up with Niantic to bring next-level innovation by offering players the ability to connect their Pokémon GO to their Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! game. Players can catch Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region in Pokémon GO and then transfer them into their Nintendo Switch adventure. Something special will also be coming to the world of Pokémon GO, making the connection between both games even more appealing for Trainers. Details for this will be revealed in the near future.

The Poké Ball Plus a device that can be used to play Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! in place of a Joy-Con or alongside Pokémon GO instead of the Pokémon GO Plus, was also unveiled, continuing the innovative ways to connect the games. The Poké Ball Plus features motion controls, lights up with a variety of colors, vibrates, and plays sounds. When catching a Pokémon in the Nintendo Switch games, players will be able to feel it moving within the device. It also does more than function as a controller—using the Poké Ball Plus, players can bring one of their Pokémon from Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! with them as they explore the real world, giving Trainers the opportunity to spend time with favorite Pokémon even when they’re not playing the game. Additionally, Trainers can receive a variety of rewards once Pokémon are returned to the Nintendo Switch games.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! will launch on November 16, 2018, exclusively on Nintendo Switch. The Poké Ball Plus will be available at participating retailers on the same day.

Watch the Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! announcement trailer here.

For more information about Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, please visit: Pokemon.com/PokemonLetsGo.

Pokémon Quest

Pokémon Quest, a rambunctious action RPG game, was also revealed at the press conference, along with the surprise for fans that it is available today on Nintendo eShop. Developed by GAME FREAK, Pokémon Quest takes players across Tumblecube Island, where everything’s a cube—including the Pokémon. Travel the length and breadth of the island hunting for treasure, battling with wild Pokémon, discovering unexplored territories, and even cooking tasty treats to tempt new Pokémon to join your party.

Gameplay features of Pokémon Quest include:

  • Battle by tapping—Pokémon Quest uses simple touch controls that can be enjoyed by everyone.
  • Befriend many Pokémon—Use items collected throughout expeditions to befriend a wide array of Pokémon.
  • Create your Pokémon dream team—Partner with three of your Pokémon friends to battle through diverse environments.
  • Pokémon unique to you—Use different Power Stones to personalize your Pokémon friends however you want and give them unique stats.
  • Customize your base camp—Decorate your home with cute and fun collectibles that not only look good, but can provide in-game benefits.

“This new Pokémon title, developed by GAME FREAK, lets players explore the island of Tumblecube with their team of cute, cube-shaped characters known as Pokéxel,” said Shigeru Ohmori, director at GAME FREAK. “Players will be able to personalize their Pokémon and develop a strong bond with their Pokémon friends while battling their way through the adventure. With the simple touch-screen controls, Pokémon Quest is a game that Pokémon fans of all ages can pick up and play.”

Watch a trailer for Pokémon Quest here: https://youtu.be/j0AEUmgGHRE.

For more information about Pokémon Quest, please visit: Pokemon.com/Quest.

Train2Game News Guide on Unity VR

Explore the latest features of Unity 2018 to create immersive VR projects for desktop and mobile devices using this practical guide written by Jonathan Linowes.

The second edition of this popular how-to book has just been published. It has been updated, revised and expanded to 200 more pages than the first edition.

Unity has become the leading platform for building virtual reality games, applications, and experiences for this new generation of consumer VR devices.

Unity Virtual Reality Projects walks you through a series of hands-on tutorials and in-depth discussions on using the Unity game engine. With its practical and project-based approach, this book will get you up to speed with the specifics of Virtual Reality development in Unity. You will learn how to use Unity to develop VR applications that can be experienced with devices such as Oculus, Daydream, and Vive. Among the many topics and projects, you will explore gaze-based versus hand controller input, world space UI canvases, locomotion and teleportation, software design patterns, 360-degree media, timeline animation, and multiplayer networking. You will learn the Unity 3D game engine via the interactive Unity Editor as well as C# programming. By the end of the book, you will be fully equipped to develop rich, interactive virtual reality experiences using Unity.

What You Will Learn

  • Create 3D scenes with Unity and other 3D tools while learning about world space and scale
  • Build and run VR applications for specific headsets, including Oculus, Vive, and Daydream
  • Interact with virtual objects using eye gaze, hand controllers, and user input events
  • Move around your VR scenes using locomotion and teleportation
  • Implement an audio fireball game using physics and particle systems
  • Implement an art gallery tour with teleportation and data info
  • Design and build a VR storytelling animation with a soundtrack and timelines
  • Create social VR experiences with Unity networking

To order your copy: https://goo.gl/iLuVf4

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers Game Jam

Multi award-winning games studio and creators of the Total War franchise, Creative Assembly, invited local students into their Horsham-based studio and turned their game concepts into reality in a first-of-its-kind game jam.

Students from the West Sussex all-girls school Millais, created their own game concepts as part of an exercise to help inspire them about the opportunities within the fields of science, technology, arts, engineering and math (STEAM), through the process of game design. The activity was hosted in partnership with BAFTA’s Young Game Designers initiative.

This is the first time a studio has developed student concepts into playable games. Nine teams of expert developers from Creative Assembly spent an hour sitting down with the 14-year-old students to understand their concepts as part of the discovery process. The teams then had 48hrs to create the games, ready for the students and their parents to play.

Creative Assembly has published a short video documenting game jam here: http://bit.ly/CAgamejam

Tim Heaton, Creative Assembly’s Studio Director and EVP of Sega Studios, said: “Working with BAFTA, we’ve been able to challenge students’ perceptions of games and give them a valuable first-hand insight into the development process. We know that diversity breeds innovation and we want to inspire more young people from all backgrounds to consider careers in the games industry and to recognise that it is an incredibly creative and professionally rewarding place to be.”

Melissa Phillips, Games Event Producer at BAFTA, said: “It has been fantastic to work alongside Creative Assembly to bring the BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative to Millais School. It is so important to provide visible role models for young people and encourage them to express their creative ideas. We’ve enjoyed helping to connect the students with industry professionals to turn their game concepts into reality.”

Sammi McEwan, Concept Artist at Creative Assembly, said: “Meeting the students from the local girl’s school was a great experience. When I was their age, being in the games industry was my dream so I wanted to share some of my experiences with them and give them some advice. It was fun to meet them and I hope that they liked the game we made.”

Zongyi Chen, Lead Character Artist at Creative Assembly, said: “It was an absolute joy to meet the students at the end and see how pleased they were with what we made for them. This game jam has been such an incredibly positive experience for us and I really hope it has made a difference to how these young people see the industry.”

Creative Assembly’s game jam, FrancoJam, is now in its 4th year but 2018 is the first time it has included an educational aspect, as part of the studio’s commitment to UK STEAM education via its Legacy Project.

The UK continues to face a digital skills gap with Engineering UK estimating the shortfall of UK engineering graduates to be 20,000. Additionally, only 8% of the UK’s current engineering workforce are women – the lowest number across the whole of Europe. Creative Assembly’s Legacy Project aims to educate and inspire young people into the industry through a number of initiatives with local schools, leading UK partners like BAFTA and Digital Schoolhouse, and on University-level curriculums, like the East London Academy of Music and Arts.

Creative Assembly has written about the digital skills gap and their work to address this as part of the Legacy Project here: bit.ly/gameseducation.

Find out more about BAFTA’s Young Game Designers Competition and discover resources on how to come up with your own game concept at http://ygd.bafta.org/

Train2Game Fight in the streets again

Hadoken your way through gaming history with Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

This collection of 12 arcade-perfect Street Fighter games encapsulates a walk down memory lane with the video game phenomenon that impacted arcade culture, established the fighting game genre, and paved the way for esport events such as Capcom Pro Tour.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection marks the first time many of these arcade essentials are playable on consoles and PC. Street Fighter players can recreate the classic arcade gaming experience by competing against the CPU and friends locally, or challenge an opponent online in four online-supported games. An ultimate tribute to Street Fighter arcade legacy, this all-in-one package includes 12 classic titles with arcade-perfect balancing including:

Street Fighter
Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting*
Super Street Fighter II
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo*
Street Fighter Alpha
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Street Fighter Alpha 3*
Street Fighter III
Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact
Street Fighter III: Third Strike*

*Online play and Training Mode supported

While the collection stays true to the original arcade experiences, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection also includes some new features and options. New since the original arcade versions is a robust Training Mode that offers numerous options for players to customize their experience and train more effectively for their next match. Some of the options that are universal amongst all four games are the ability to turn on damage display, input display, dummy controls, and more.

When players need a break from the action, the collection invites fans to explore the franchise’s history with early game design documents, see how their favorite characters have evolved through character bios and sprite viewers, and even listen to some of its most memorable soundtracks via the game’s built-in music player.

Train2Game News Square Enix work potential

Square Enix® Montréal, the award-winning and critically acclaimed mobile games studio, has announced that it is attending Casual Connect in London on May 29-31, 2018, and will be located at booth #206.

The studio will be a Gold Sponsor of the conference and has recently made the move to the freemium mobile game development model. As a result, Square Enix is actively looking to fill new positions within the Montréal and London mobile studios. Key members of the Square Enix Montréal and London mobile teams will be available at the booth to discuss any of the available positions, spanning Creative, Analytics, Product Management, and beyond.

As well as sponsoring this year’s ‘Best Kids and Family Game Indie Prize Award’, Square Enix Montréal’s Head of Studio, Patrick Naud will join fellow industry experts to discuss Live Operations on the ‘Live Game Ops Power Panel’ at 4pm on May 30, 2018 in the St. James’s suite. Senior Producer Dominic Allaire and Lead Game Designer Jean-Francois Dugas will deliver their ‘Live and Kickin’ presentation covering the evolution of Hitman Sniper at 11am on May 30, 2018 in the St. James’s suite.

“We’ve always strived to provide the highest quality experience for mobile players and premium was the most appropriate format for us to do so initially in order to prove our know-how,” said Patrick Naud, Head of Studio at Square Enix Montréal. “While we remain absolutely committed to delivering innovative experiences to our existing IPs, we also want to make original games that are accessible to all players, hence we are now fully embracing the freemium format, while being mindful that we continue to provide the mobile gaming community with unforgettable experiences; a value central to every Square Enix Montréal title.”

For more information regarding the ‘Live Game Ops Power Panel’ and ‘Live and Kickin’ presentation: http://europe.casualconnect.org/schedule.html

Casual Connect will be held at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3EE. Square Enix Montréal will be located at booth #206.

Train2Game News Bandai Namco raise $20k for charity

Leading anime video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. announced today it has raised and is donating over $20,000 to Gamers Outreach in support of the foundation’s mission to provide recreation and entertainment to children recovering from the treatment of long term illnesses in hospitals through the power of video games.

The donated funds will go directly to the creation of additional “GO Karts” or Gamers Outreach Karts – portable, medical-grade gaming kiosks which healthcare staff can use to transport gaming consoles and games to children who are not able to leave their rooms during their recovery. GO Karts have already been stationed at nearly 50 hospitals around the United States and support over 450,000 children annually during their recoveries.

“As a video game company, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America is excited to see the power of video games brighten the day of a child recovering from illness. Video games can transport children to distant lands for grand adventures, empower them with super powers, and most importantly, deliver a simple smile and some comfort.” said Denny Chiu, Director, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.

“By lifting their spirits, we hope to help these brave young patients through their healing process and provide a semblance of fun and normalcy to their day. We also want to thank our generous fans who donated funds during our livestream, our combined donations will surely add a boost to help Gamers Outreach in its mission of bringing joy, creating smiles, and making the day special for countless kids.”

“We’re incredibly grateful to the team from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America for this generous gift of more than $20,000 in support of providing entertainment devices to hospitalized children,” said Zach Wigal, Founder of Gamers Outreach.

“As an organization, our focus is to help normalize the hospital experience by ensuring games and recreation are available to patients, and easy for healthcare professionals to manage. GO Karts are a tool hospital staff rely on as a way to deliver content to patients who have limited accessibility during treatment. The GO Karts built by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America will be making a difference in the lives of children and their families for years to come!”

Funds donated by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. are comprised of charitable donations raised during an eight hour “Let’s Play Anime” charity livestream which raised $5,484 from viewers and fans. The livestream featured gameplay segments featuring BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s latest games. The livestream was hosted by BANDAI NAMCO team members and social media influencers. During the program, viewers made donations in support of the livestream to benefit Gamers Outreach. Additional funds were donated by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. by matching the $5,484 donated by livestream viewers and with an additional $10,000 for a grand donation total of $20,968.

For more information on BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., please visit: https://www.bandainamcoent.com . For more information about Gamers Outreach Foundation, please visit: https://gamersoutreach.org.

Train2Game News Kinect recycled for medical needs

A new system which helps people with Parkinson’s disease overcome debilitating walking problems has been developed by researchers at Brunel University London.

Built using Microsoft’s now-obsolete Kinect peripheral, the system monitors for and detects freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s patients. When an occurrence is observed a laser casts visual cues on the floor according to the patient’s location, helping them release their gait and improve their movement.
It’s hoped the system, which was unveiled in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology and supported by Parkinson’s UK, can be further developed for installing in patients’ homes.

“Freezing of gait is one of the most disabling symptoms in people with Parkinson’s, affecting its sufferers by impacting their gait performance and locomotion,” said Dr Amin Amini, a researcher from Brunel’s Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, who lead the research.

“It is an episodic phenomenon that prevents the initiation or continuation of a patient’s locomotion, and it may lead to a loss of independence or frequent falls.”

The system, whose prototype cost just £137 to build, excluding its controlling PC, works by monitoring a patient’s leg movements in their own home. Whilst similar systems using Kinect have been tested previously, the new system specifically monitors the angle of the patient’s knee and their head direction, offering increased accuracy and a reduction in false positives.

Initially launched in 2010, the Microsoft Kinect is a motion-sensing device developed for use with a PC or Xbox. Whilst it was originally intended for gaming, the product proved popular with researchers and developers keen to find alternative uses.

Although the Kinect was discontinued as a commercial product in 2017, they are still easily obtainable second-hand.

“The main reason that Microsoft Kinect was used is that it doesn’t require the patients to attach any sensors to their bodies in order for the system to detect FOGs,” said Dr Amini.

“The Kinect can unobtrusively detect and track subjects’ body movements without any attachments, which makes it an ideal device for such applications.”
Once FOG is detected, the system casts two laser lines on the floor, perpendicular to the direction the patient is facing. This visual cue stimulates movement in the patient and helps relieve their gait.

“We tested the system’s capabilities and detection success rate by inviting healthy participants during the prototype phase, as well as inviting real Parkinson’s disease patients to a focus group, where we demonstrated our system in action,” said Dr Amini.

“The results showed the possibility of employing the system as an indoor and on-demand visual cue system for people with Parkinson’s, that does not rely on the subject’s input or introduce any additional complexities to operate.
“Despite limitations regarding its outdoor use, feedback was very positive in terms of domestic usability and convenience, with people with Parkinson’s showing interest in installing and using the system at their homes.”

Kinect4FOG: monitoring and improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s using a novel system incorporating the Microsoft Kinect v2 is published in the Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
For further information on Brunel’s research, please visit www.brunel.ac.uk/research

Train2Game News Personal Gaming Assistant Sam Launches

Sam aims to enrich the players gaming experience by connecting them with their game library, friends, community as well as most of Ubisoft services.

Starting today, Sam is available worldwide in English only and is currently in BETA. Sam is a chatbot that follows your in-game progression and provides you with real-time stats and tips. Sam leverages Google Cloud’s Dialogflow Enterprise Edition, which enables it to answer a large variety of topics related to Ubisoft games and services.

Sam entered its open BETA in Canada on January 24th and has not ceased evolving since launching – thanks to the support of the community.

Sam is now available on the Ubisoft® Club mobile application, which can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.

To learn more about Sam, have a look at our article on the ubiblog.
For more information about the Ubisoft® Club, please visit: https://club.ubisoft.com.

You can see it in action below