Train2Game News Video Game Characters Reinagined As Female

With only 18% of games releasing in 2020 with a female main character, and with female main characters noticeably lacking from the most popular releases of each year, DiamondLobby worked to reimagine how games could’ve looked if they opted for female protagonists instead of male.

Working with artist Hossein Kalantari, DiamondLobby created the designs to encourage diversity and to promote non-sexualized female characters. 

“Whilst male characters in games can often look rough and rugged, female characters are almost exclusively used as eye candy to please a predominantly male audience” said Brittney Lin, the brains behind the piece.

“We wanted to show that female characters can look great without being hyper-sexualized, and this is demonstrated no better than with our Master Chief redesign — that we dubbed ‘Madam Chief’ — who looks almost identical to her male counterpart.

“It only takes a quick Google search to see that when most people think of a female version of Master Chief, they think breasts, legs and more. But why? Master Chief wears full body armor. Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you’re wearing full body armor you’re going to look pretty similar on the outside,” Brittney added.

Each design was created to be in keeping with the original game’s aesthetic, but each character had the license to be unique. They aren’t just a female version of the male character, instead they’re their own women that share some common characteristics as their male counterparts. 

Luke Roberts, founder of DiamondLobby commented “Whilst this content is relatively lighthearted and easy to digest, it also highlights deep-rooted issues within gaming (and tech in general) and aims to encourage greater diversity both directly and subconsciously as the industry moves forward in the future.”

If you want to see the original article, you can visit https://diamondlobby.com/geeky-stuff/video-games-reimagined-with-female-protagonists/

Train2Game News Contra Returns

Contra Returns, a new addition to the legendary KONAMI run-and-gun action franchise Contra, is available for pre-registration on mobile devices starting today.

Developed by TiMi Studio Group and KONAMI, Contra Returns will be bringing a fresh twist to the iconic retro arcade shooter. Players can pre-register on Google Play and the Apple Store today to gain exclusive rewards.

Contra Returns will be launching on July 26.

Contra Returns brings fans of the franchise an authentic new take on the Contra series, enhanced with all new graphics, gameplay upgrades, and more. New characters, storylines and customizable weapons allow players to unlock skills and conquer the battlefield with the same thrill of the arcade originals.

Contra Returns offers over 200 levels, new game modes including One Life Mode, 1v1, and 3v3 modes, player and equipment upgrades and customization, and more, creating the ultimate Contra experience!

For more information on Contra Returns, visit https://www.contrareturnsm.com/en/ and follow on Twitter @ContraReturns_

Train2Game News Final Fantasy XIV Teaming Up With Twitch

SQUARE ENIX® is today launching a new programme with interactive livestreaming service, Twitch, to distribute a number of FINAL FANTASY® XIV Online in-game items.
 
From today until 24th August, FINAL FANTASY XIV Online players can get their hands on both the Heavenscracker in-game item and the Fat Black Chocobo in-game mount by making use of Twitch’s gift subscription service when select streamers are broadcasting their adventures in Eorzea.
 

The Fat Black Chocobo In-Game Mount

 
Viewers that gift one subscription in participating channels will receive 100 of the in-game Deluxe Heavenscracker items, while gifting four total subscriptions will grant them the Fat Black Chocobo Whistle, used to summon the in-game mount of the same name. Gifted subscriptions can be distributed in one channel or multiple channels, and the items can be received only once per Twitch account.
 
Participating streamers must be broadcasting FINAL FANTASY XIV Online at the time the gifted subscription is given. If the gifted subscription is given outside of a FINAL FANTASY XIV Online broadcast, it will not count towards the program.
 
Further details on the programme along with the full list of participating streamers can be found here: https://sqex.to/r6qAf
 
More details on Twitch’s gift subscription options, including pricing, can be found here: https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/gift-subscriptions?language=en_US
 

The Deluxe Heavenscracker In-Game Item

 The recently announced fourth expansion pack of the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online saga, Endwalker, is scheduled to release 23rd November, 2021 for PC, Mac, the PlayStation®5 system, and the PlayStation®4 system. Endwalker is the culmination of the Hydaelyn and Zodiark story, in which Warriors of Light will encounter an even greater calamity than ever before, and will bring an abundance of new content, including multiple new jobs, an increased level cap, vast new areas, adjustments to the battle system, as well as a variety of new battle, crafter and gatherer content.
 
FINAL FANTASY XIV: Endwalker’s full trailer can be found here: https://youtu.be/I4uwkvxsUac
 

Visit the official FINAL FANTASY XIV: Endwalker site here: https://eu.finalfantasyxiv.com/endwalker/

Train2Game News Legend of Mana Remastered Edition

Square Enix Ltd., today announced that Legend of Mana™, the remastered edition of the fourth instalment in the Mana series is now available to play on modern consoles Nintendo Switch™ system, PlayStation®4 console and STEAM®.

In Legend of Mana, players will embark on a journey to find the mystical Mana Tree seen in a dream, only to discover that the world map is empty. Throughout their adventure, they will acquire special artifacts, which can be placed on the map to bring towns and dungeons to life via the unique Land Creation system. Players can also capture eggs and hatch pet monsters to help with battles, and progress through the story in different ways based on the choices they make, offering a more personal and unique gameplay experience.

  Legend of Mana features remastered visuals and a rearrangement of selected songs from the beautiful soundtrack, including ‘Hometown of Domina’. Players will also be able alternate between the new and original soundtrack. The game also introduces the “Ring Ring Land” mini-game which will be available to the West for the first time. During their travels, players will encounter a colourful cast of characters, square off against fearsome monsters in real-time combat and explore the vast world of Fa’Diel, all while experiencing Legend of Mana’s timeless story.

  Legend of Mana is now available digitally for £24.99 on the Nintendo Switch™ system, the PlayStation®4 console and PC (STEAM®). Players who purchase Legend of Mana before July 23 will receive an early purchase reward, including ten avatars and a custom Legend of Mana theme on the PlayStation®4 console or Legend of Mana Wallpaper on PC (STEAM®).

For more information visit: https://square-enix-games.com/en_GB/games/legend-mana

Train2Game News Worms Rumble Launches

Team17 has today completed docking procedures and launched Worms Rumble, the first real-time action instalment in the beloved, multi-award-winning Worms series, onto Nintendo Switch, Epic Games Store, and on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One (via the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass.

The release of the game, which first launched on PlayStation consoles and Steam for PC in November last year, will coincide with the availability of a brand-new and free arena – Spaceport Showdown – across all platforms.

  Enjoy ‘orbit’ of the new space-age Worms Rumble trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgNw0yqu7U&ab_channel=Team17 

  Set far above the stratosphere, the Spaceport Showdown features a new, randomly generated, low-gravity mechanic that slows the action down during battle and joins the existing available maps: Deadly Dockyard, Battlegrounds Bank, Missile Mall, Portal Park, and Transforming Towers. New extra-terrestrial premium skins, banners, and emotes will help acclimatise the weapon-toting annelids to their new surroundings. A free exclusive outfit, the Series Green Hoodie, will be available to Xbox players, while those on Nintendo Switch can enjoy the free Patchwork Bear outfit.

  Worms Rumble key features:

  • Fast-paced, arena action: Open fire in six varied arenas in up-to-32-player, real-time combat across five solo and team-based game modes, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and the battle royale mode, Last Worm Standing
  • Take aim across the platforms: Take on friends, frenemies, and unfamiliars whatever the platform, with cross-play matchmaking
  • Make your Worm its own: Choose and unlock over 1000 options to full customise your worm, from outfits and hats, to eye colour and teeth shape; further personalise the weapons they wield with additional skins to unlock
  • Lock and load your arsenal: Crates across the arenas contain a host of weapons and items, including fan favourites like the Sheep Launcher, Holy Hand Grenade, and Grapple Gun.
  • Regular Lab events: The time-limited event Lab mode provides preset maps, weapons, and gameplay mechanics for players to master and unlock new skins

A physical release for Worms Rumble is coming to all console platforms on 13th July.

To keep up to date with all the information on Worms Rumble please like Team17 on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and join them on Discord.

Train2Game News D&D Dark Alliance

Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, Inc (NASDAQ: HAS), is proud to announce that DARK ALLIANCE, the explosive four-player, co-op action brawler is now available for PC, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10 PC with Xbox Game Pass. Developed by Wizards of the Coast and Tuque Games, DARK ALLIANCE is the first Dungeons & Dragons video game published by Wizards of the Coast, and a new CGI trailer was released to celebrate the launch:

“Whenever I’m at the table playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends, I always anxiously await that moment in a scenario when the Dungeon Master says, ‘Roll for initiative’. That’s when you know things are about to get fun and interesting,” said Jeff Hattem, Studio Head at Tuque Games and Creative Director for DARK ALLIANCE. 

“We designed DARK ALLIANCE from those moments in D&D campaigns; our game puts combat at the center of the experience and we can’t for players to feel what it’s like to battle a Frost Giant up close and personal.”

Featuring real-time combat and dynamic co-op gameplay, Dark Alliance pits Drizzt Do’Urden and his legendary companions – Catti-brie, Bruenor, and Wulfgar – against some of the most iconic monsters from the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons. Frost Giants, Beholders, and White Dragons roam the frozen tundra of Icewind Dale in search of the Crystal Shard— and it’s up to the companions to muster the strength to stop them from claiming and using it to destroy their home. 

“Gathering a party and having fun with your friends is what Dungeons & Dragons is all about,” said Chris Cocks, President, Wizards of the Coast. “Launching DARK ALLIANCE today marks a big milestone for Wizards of the Coast, in that we’re opening up new ways for friends to experience D&D together whether they’re at the table or behind a screen.”

Dark Alliance is available digitally [$39.99 / £34.99 / € 39.99, DarkAlliance.com] and at retail, with an exclusive Steelbook® edition for $59.99 / £49.99 / €59.99 at select retailers. The Steelbook edition includes a Steelbook case, a printed art book, a downloadable Dungeons & Dragons soundtrack, a Beholder and Lich weapon set, and the forthcoming expansion “Echoes of the Blood War” which is set to release later this year.

Wizards of the Coast is making it easy to assemble your party. Players who purchase DARK ALLIANCE on PlayStation®4 will receive a free digital download code so that they can upgrade to the PlayStation®5, and vice versa. Players who preordered on Xbox One Consoles or Xbox Series X|S only must buy the game once and receive it on both platforms through Smart Delivery. DARK ALLIANCE is also available for Xbox Game Pass.

To learn more about DARK ALLIANCE and to watch the all-new CGI trailer, visit the official website at www.DarkAlliance.com.

Train2Game News An Introduction To Game Writing

Steve Ince is proud to announce the release of his new book, An Introduction to Game Writing; a Workbook for Interactive Stories, which is now available.

With a foreword written by Stephen E. Dinehart IV, a renowned and respected writer and narrative designer, the book is primarily aimed at students aged 10 and upwards, but anyone curious about game writing and interactive stories will benefit from this introductory volume.

This book introduces the reader to the exciting nature of game writing in a step by step process that any person can pick up quickly.

Requiring no previous knowledge or outstanding English skills, the eager novice will learn to create interactive stories in next to no time.

Steve is an award-nominated writer and game designer with 28 years of development experience. After 11 years with Revolution Software, he turned freelance and has worked for a large variety of international clients. He speaks at conferences around the world, runs game writing workshops and wrote his first book, Writing for Video Games, a number of years ago.

The first steps of any journey are always the hardest, but An Introduction to Game Writing will help smooth the path.

The book can be ordered from your local bookshop or online book sellers as well as from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.

Train2Game News New Game Making Tutorial Game For Game Maker

YoYo Games today announced the launch of Fire Jump – a new game-making tutorial designed to introduce new users to the basics of GameMaker Studio 2, the world’s leading 2D game development engine. 

Designed specifically for those with little or no game design experience, Fire Jump features a step-by-step guide to making an infinite platformer game, primarily using GameMaker’s easy-to-use and intuitive Drag and Drop (DnD) system. 

In Fire Jump, players control an intrepid fireman on a mission to rescue civilians from a burning building. As our hero leaps vertically from window to window, he must rescue civilians whilst trying to avoid those windows which are on fire. 

Explained in an easy to understand manner, the free tutorial includes four tutorials plus a wealth of supporting materials, teaching new users how to make a playable character, generate infinite obstacles, build a solid game loop along with menus and much more. There is also enough useful information for intermediate users to enjoy as well.

The launch of Fire Jump tutorial follows the recent release of Little Town, a major new game-making tutorial designed to teach students the fundamental principles of game design with GameMaker Studio 2. 


You can download the Fire Jump tutorial by visiting https://www.yoyogames.com/en/blog/fire-jump-tutorial

Stuart Poole, General Manager, YoYo Games, said: “With Drag and Drop, absolutely anyone can make an impressive game without writing code – all you need is imagination. 

“This is why we’re extremely excited to be launching Fire Jump – our latest high-quality step-by-step DnD tutorial, designed to quickly get hobbyists up-to-speed with the core functionality of DnD and GameMaker Studio 2 while hopefully inspiring them to create their own amazing games.”

Train2Game News Humble Bundle Supporting Games Aid

Get ready to discover some of the best games from across the UK with the help of Games Aid’s newest Humble Bundle.



We’ve teamed up with some of the best developers from across all the nations of the UK to bring you the UK Collective Games Aid Bundle; a curated collection of intriguing titles to your PC, all available at a delightfully low cost.

The following games – which would normally collectively cost $95 – are all part of the bundle.

Pay more than a dollar to get:

  • Master Reboot by Wales Interactive: imagine a world where death is no longer final, where precious memories are saved to enjoy forever, where your soul is immortal, welcome to the Soul Cloud. Upload your soul to our dedicated servers and relax knowing that a part of you will live on for eternity.
  • Her Majesty’s Spiffing by Billy Goat Entertainment: a quaint graphic adventure game following the exploits of Captain Frank Lee English and his trusted regional accented colleague, Aled, as they travel through the cosmos in search of planets to claim for a new Galactic British Empire!

Pay more than the average to get those games and:

  • Lumino City by State of Play: an award-winning hand-made Puzzle Adventure game. By exploring the city, and using your ingenuity piece together all sorts of puzzling mechanisms to help the people who live in its unique world.
  • The Ship Murder Party by Blazing Griffin: a murder mystery alternative to traditional FPS multiplayer games. Each player is given a Quarry to kill – and must evade their own Hunter in the process, all set on board a series of 1920s art deco cruise ships.

Pay more than eight dollars to get all these games:

  • Warhammer 40k: Sanctus Reach by Slitherine: a 3D turn-based strategy game like you’ve never seen before: fast, immediate, deep, impressive to look at and incredibly fun! Fight through a dark era of carnage and endless war and lead the Space Wolves in a struggle to defend the last bastion of mankind.
  • Runescape Old School by Jagex (one month subscription): the best retro fantasy MMORPG on the planet. Old School is RuneScape but… older! This is the open world you know and love, but as it was in 2007.

And most importantly of all, every bundle that’s bought sees money head to the seven charities Games Aid supports – Access, Sport, Autistica Play, Everyone Can, Lifelites, Maps, Solving Kids’ Cancer and Clock Tower Sanctuary – to help a range of young people kick on with life.

Access the bundle over at https://www.humblebundle.com/games/uk-games-collective

Train2Game News Popular Retro Magazine

Whether you’re a 70s kid, an 80s C64 gamer or perhaps you’re from the modern era of tech, Popular Retro is for everyone!

This print magazine is an observation into the past, looking at fashion, gaming, books, film, television and much more.

Popular Retro is the 21st Century magazine that looks at life before the world of fast-living technology. And it’s an all-new look for Popular Retro which is finally meeting print, Popular Retro started life as a digital download publication only. One which predominately covered the recently re-released classic gaming computer THEC64 (one which you’re also in with a chance to win). As well as featuring food, toys, and games, but the readers seemed to keep wanting more, so in this magazine, you’ll be sure to find a heck of a lot more variety and content; film, television, art, and gaming, of course!

A note from the editor, Darren Randle,

“When I took over the Editorial role of PR, my mission was simple – to create the retro magazine that I would want to read! My team and I will take you back down memory lane, to a time where arcades were packed, cinemas were filled with smoke, kids kicked balls, TV was four channels and smart phones were not even a concept. It’s a celebration of the things we grew up loving and now sadly miss. Whether you are young or old, you’ll find an eclectic mix of fun from the past in each glossy issue.

For the first-time, Popular Retro meets print, and with an all-new look! A journey to our love of the 80s and 70s as we look at the early days of home computing, starting of course with the ZX81. A machine which has now turned 40! The Philips CD-i gets a massive retrospective insight, looking at machines, games and unfortunately, where it all went wrong. Don’t think horror lovers are left out, sink your teeth into the classic low budget movie, Evil Spawn and read about the brilliant vampire comics from your childhood. The popular “Great Moments in Computing” cartoon (formally published in the now sadly missed ‘Computer Shopper’ magazine by Dennis Publishing) finds a new home within Popular Retro, and we talk to Pystronik software in an exclusive interview. Rounding-off with a chance to with a THEC64 computer from Retro Games Ltd, and a ‘go old-school’ pull-out poster.”

In Popular Retro’s Issue 1, Volume 2, you’ll be sure to find, ‘The Real Ghostbusters’, a feature surrounding the ZX81, “A computer for the masses” and of course, a review of the classic ZX Spectrum game, Valley of Rains. Popular Retro is for the lovers of anything classic, looking back to a time once missed, allowing you to re-live your childhood, or for some younger people, provide an insight into life away from mobile phones. A simpler time where you could enjoy Ghostbusters on your television, Brothers in Arms blasting through your radio and the world of wacky B-movies like the 1987 Evil Spawn horror movie. You can be sure to find some special edition content too, time to see if you’ve won the VIC20 and you could be in for the chance to win a C64!

You can get the magazine via newsstand at https://www.newsstand.co.uk/popularretro