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Train2Game News Retro-Bit Generations

​This past June, Innex Inc®., an exclusive distributor of  Retro-Bit® unveiled the brand’s newest product at the 2016 E3 Expo –  Retro-Bit Generations, a plug and play console loaded with more than 100 classic retro games estimated to be available in the Fall of 2016 for $59.99.
Unlike the previous Retro-Bit consoles, which ran and read gaming cartridges, Retro-Bit collaborated with world-renowned gaming developers like Capcom, Data East TM, Jaleco LTD., IREM and more to provide a full-fledged roster of titles easily recognized and admired by the retro-gaming community such as, Ghosts’N Goblins™, Gun.Smoke™, Kid Niki Radical Ninja, Kung-Fu, Captain Commando™, Kickle Cubicle, Rival Turf, Super R-Type, The Super Bases Loaded Series, Knights of the Round, Brawl Brothers, Ring King and more! 

Along with a catalog of popular gaming titles, the Retro-Bit Generations is accompanied with two USB retro-style six button controllers and designed with a sleek user-friendly interface and AV and HDMI ports.  The console also includes an SD card slot allowing users to save or transfer archived game progress to other consoles.

“Retro-Bit has been known to make products for the hardcore retro gaming crowd, and we are thrilled that Retro-Bit created a product that is aimed at a wider audience. We believe that the Retro-Bit Generations is a fantastic introduction for beginners into the world of retro gaming, however, it includes a lot of titles that resonate with experienced gamers.” Said Ron Pang, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Innex Inc. 

With the success of Retro-Bit’s previous consoles (Super Retro-Trio® and the Retro-Duo®), which operates on gaming cartridges, the Retro-Bit Generations opens retro gaming to new patrons of all ages.  Retro-Bit continues to make great strides to bridge the gap of between gamers past and present.

Train2Game News Life is Strange digital series

​Legendary Digital Studios and Square Enix will join forces on the development of a digital series based on the critically acclaimed, multi award-winning video game, Life Is Strange™, it was announced today by Greg Siegel, Senior Vice President of Development and Production for Legendary Digital Studios.
The project will be developed and produced in conjunction with Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons of dj2 Entertainment who recently produced the upcoming film Sonic the Hedgehog for Sony Pictures. Life is Strange™ was brought into Legendary by Cory Lanier who will oversee the project with Siegel.

Life Is Strange™ follows the story of photography enthusiast Max Caulfield, a high-school senior who discovers she can rewind time while saving her best friend Chloe Price. The pair soon find themselves investigating the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber, which uncovers a dark side to life in Arcadia Bay. In addition to winning the BAFTA for Best Story, the Peabody Award, the Golden Joystick’s Performance of the Year and The Game Awards’ Games for Impact Award, Life Is Strange™ has garnered over 75 Game of the Year awards and listings.

“Life is Strange™ is one of those rare properties that combines incredibly developed characters and storylines with deeply engaging gameplay,” said Siegel. “It lends itself perfectly to live-action imaginings. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Square Enix, DONTNOD Entertainment and dj2 to bring the world of Arcadia Bay to life in an exciting new way.”

“We’re proud and excited to be working alongside Legendary to realise a new version of Arcadia Bay and Blackwell Academy complete with our rich cast of realistic, believable characters and memorable events,” said Jon Brooke, VP Brand and European Marketing at Square Enix. “Now that the first episode of the Life is Strange™ game is free to download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac and PC, there’s never been a better time to play or to introduce a friend to the beautiful world of Arcadia Bay”.

To celebrate, there’s a brand new trailer showing Max and Chloe in action available now. Check it out here.

Legendary Digital Studios, Square Enix and dj2 are currently meeting with potential writers for the series adaptation.

Train2Game News OneSpecialDay raises over 90k

Over 30 gaming industry companies raised over £90,000 for SpecialEffect in the charity’s inaugural One Special Day event on 15 July. The total may well rise further over the next few weeks.
The majority of the companies donated sales revenue from some or all of their games on 15 July. Others ran a dedicated activity or promotion. 

The initiative, now to be an annual event, aims to promote the gaming industry as unified and proud in helping to level the playing field for gamers with disabilities.

The charity were hoping the event would raise £25,000. Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, said “The generosity of the companies supporting this initiative has been overwhelming, and to utterly smash our £25k target in the first year is phenomenal. It’s a real boost when the games industry themselves, our natural partners, say ‘Yes, we see the difference you’re making – how can we help?’”

“What’s especially great is that companies of all sizes have been part of an event that’s promoted the industry as a real force for good. We look forward to welcoming them and others again for One Special Day 2017.”

A wide spectrum of companies were involved, including: First Touch Games, The Chinese Room, New Star Games, Ripstone, Nomad Games, Green Man Gaming, Curve Digital, nDreams, Devolver, Game Swing, Payload Studios, Magic Notion, Tammeka Games, Bossa Studios, Barog Game Labs, We Love Dragons, Deconstructeam, Vagabond Dog, Terri Vellmann, Acid Nerve, Free Lives, Roll 7, Tundra Games, Insert Coin, Escape Technology, Revolution Games, Red Kite Games, Edgecase Games, Chillingo, Media Molecule, Ukie and Plethora Project.

Phil Gaskell, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Ripstone, said “Ripstone are very happy to have been part of a historic day for the games industry that will make a life-changing difference to the gamers SpecialEffect help. We know our fundraising livestream on the day, the donation of 100% of our profits across platforms and the auction of our Ironcast jet pack(!) will all help SpecialEffect provide many more magic moments.”

Jessica Curry, Co-Founder of The Chinese Room added, “The Chinese Room were delighted to be part of the first ever One Special Day and it was great for our team to meet Dr Mick on the day itself. We saw the life-changing difference that One Special Day will make to bring the magic of games to people with disabilities, and we would urge more developers to get involved in 2017!”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie and VP of SpecialEffect said, “This is a fantastic result for SpecialEffect and their One Special Day initiative. It is a great example of the collective power of games companies and players and what can be achieved together for a cause that Ukie is really proud to support. The money raised will increase SpecialEffect’s important work making the entertainment, inclusion and joy of playing games accessible to everyone. This is a truly special result for a truly special day.”

Next year’s One Special Day will be on Friday 22 September 2017 during the week of the charity’s tenth anniversary.

Train2Game News Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival

Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival (EDEF) today announces a spectacular range of panel discussions and keynote speeches, covering Gaming, Virtual Reality + Future Technology and Next Generation in Arts & Entertainment. 
The iconic Assembly Rooms will host the inaugural festival from 4 to 28 August alongside the Fringe Festival. 

Event Cinema and Live Events

In the first major festival of its kind – EDEF will include: 24 days of event cinema, with screenings of world-renowned art exhibitions, theatre, opera and ballet performances as well as special events that bring the “live” experience into the cinema.  Transforming the Assembly Rooms’ iconic music hall into a state-of-the-art cinema, audiences can discover digital theatre screenings, from Benedict Cumberbatch in  Hamlet, to Matthew Bourne’s ground-breaking dance productions, plus art exhibition screenings including a portrait of Ai Wei Wei and the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Special events include sing-a-longs, the cult-hit  Dune with a live electronic sound mix and an interactive evening of gaming weirdness in  Rab’s Videogame Empty.

Virtual Reality, Gaming and New Technology

Audiences are invited to discover the immersive world of virtual reality and explore how technology is shaping the future for art, entertainment and creative minds.  The unique festival will host a Virtual Reality ’cinema’, an exhibition of new technology and interactive arts in the  Tech Hub from broadcasters to independent games, which will be open daily, alongside gaming and coding workshops for young people in partnership with Microsoft, Lego Education, Minecraft and BBC Micro:bit, curated by the Big Learning Company.

Discussions and In-Person Demonstrations

·    Gaming focus 8 and 9 August

·    Virtual Reality + Future Technology focus 15 and 16 August

·    Next Generation Arts & Entertainment on 22 August

The festival’s  Ideas Studio presents keynote speeches and panel discussions from industry leaders from gaming, virtual reality, and performing arts.

Speakers announced today include NASA-funded scientist Peggy Wu, who will discuss her cutting-edge work in using VR to help astronauts as they embark on deep space missions. 

Sol Rogers, CEO and Founder of REWIND:VR, who will introduce the possibilities of VR across different industries having recently worked with Björk, Lexus, Rolls Royce and BBC home. 

Joe Stevens, CEO of Whispering Gibbon, will explore the future of the 3D printing for virtual worlds, while Tanya Laird, Director at Digital Jam Ltd, convenes Scotland’s first ever VR Writers Room.  

Sarah Ellis (RSC) and Tawny Schlieski (Intel) give insight on their upcoming collaboration with The Imaginarium Studios for RSC’s November production of  The Tempest; 

Flo Buckeridge, General Manager at National Theatre Live, will discuss how the theatre industry is embracing digital innovation; and 

Will Saunders, Creative Director, Digital at BBC Studios presents  Thinking Outside the Box – exploring the battle for attention in an online world.  

William Burdett-Coutts, Festival Director EDEF, Assembly and CEO Riverside Studios said:

“Our ambition is to bring together the world of arts and entertainment with digital technology – to show the best of what is happening right now and provoke the conversation about what comes next. The festival offers a diverse range of activities, allowing audiences to explore the future of the entertainment industry in an ever-growing digital world.“ 

Outside the festival, Edinburgh’s George Street comes to life with food stalls, a bar and the innovative Picturehouse Travelling Cinema, hosting a classic film programme of science fiction, musicals, short films and a selection from the BBC Series, Play for Today.

For more information or to book tickets, please visit edef.co.uk or call 0131 623 3045.

Train2Game News Marmalade 2D Kit

Marmalade Technologies releases latest version of Marmalade 2D Kit as part of Marmalade Platform 8.5
First introduced in Marmalade Platform 8.3 in March, Marmalade 2D Kit offers an advanced editor and runtime to make creation of engaging and dynamic 2D content both intuitive and fast.

“We have been working hard to improve the editor’s appearance, user experience and functionality, based on feedback from users,” says Adalberto Bruno, CTO at Marmalade Technologies. “With this latest release, our significant investment in this technology puts advanced capabilities in the hands of all Marmalade developers, offering a highly competitive feature set at no additional cost.”

Marmalade Technologies’ in-house game development team, Marmalade Game Studio, makes extensive use of Marmalade 2D Kit to power the entire UI on one of their latest titles, RIZE: Zombies, currently in soft launch.

“Having an editor focused on the specific needs of 2D content creation was a huge productivity boost, allowing rapid iteration and experimentation to fine-tune the UX in RIZE: Zombies,” says Laura Cheng, Producer at Marmalade Game Studio. “We are also seeing growing interest and uptake by other studios, helping us to continue to focus on the features that matter most to users,” adds Ryan Gilmour, Head of Product Management.

In addition to an all-new version of Marmalade 2D Kit, Marmalade Platform 8.5 also brings official support for OpenAL, opening up opportunities for developers to add immersive 3D sound to their apps using a simple, extensible model.

“OpenAL support continues to expand the number of out-of-the-box open source technologies available to our developers,” continues Ryan. “And by building on our platform abstraction we are able to offer this powerful middleware to all platforms simultaneously, including those not supported by alternative implementations of OpenAL.”

Rounding out Marmalade Platform 8.5, developers targeting Windows can now take full advantage of live tiles in their Marmalade apps and both new and existing Extension Development Kit users will benefit from enhanced documentation covering creating and debugging extensions.

Marmalade Platform 8.5, the latest version of the Marmalade Platform, complete with Marmalade 2D Kit, is available now from the Developer area of the Marmalade website.

Train2Game News PlayStation VR at EGX

Sony Computer Entertainment UK have announced that PlayStation®VR will be at EGX this September, giving fans the opportunity to experience the immersive world of Sony’s innovative virtual reality headset ahead of its 13th October launch.
Visitors to the PlayStation stand will have the opportunity to get hands on with a selection of highly anticipated PlayStation VR titles including RIGS Mechanized Combat League and PlayStation®VR Worlds with more to be announced in future.

To avoid disappointment, visitors can pre-book appointments for a PlayStation VR demo at EGX. Bookings will be made available on http://trypsvr.com/.

Taking place from the 22nd-25th September at the NEC in Birmingham, EGX attendees will also have the chance to play Gran Turismo Sport™ before it speeds onto PlayStation®4 for the first time this November.

All PlayStation VR demo participants will need to be in possession of a valid EGX ticket and be 12 or over. Further PlayStation VR demo slots will be available on http://trypsvr.com/ in the run up to EGX, with a limited number of walk-in demos available across the four days.

For further information on PlayStation®VR visit playstation.com/psvr or follow us @PlayStationUK.

Train2Game News RealityLab London

A specialist gaming agency is to bring it’s technology and know-how to non-Latin industries, with the launch of a new start up called RealityLab: London.
The new venture between Maverick and leading games developers, is part of the growing trend for using gamification in non gaming industries.

The company believes it’s expertise can help transform the way things are done in sectors such as Advertising, Fintech and retail.

Will Jeffery, Managing Director & Founder of Maverick, and a co-founder of RealityLab: London gave some background to the announcement:

“We’ve had more than twenty years of working with the most amazing technology and talent within the games industry, and a couple of years ago we realised that there was huge untapped potential for this to go beyond games as the world moves into more connected and interactive ways of engaging with information and content. We think that the skills, technology and talent that can only be found in games development will have an increasing influence on shaping the day-to-day experiences around us, and RealityLab: London will be a major focal point in enabling this”

Seamus Masterson, Creative Director at Maverick and co-founder will take on the role of Executive Creative Director to work alongside the various developer talent.

“Partnering with developers allows us access to an amazing variety of skills and experience across multiple styles of content, and this is coupled with their hard-earned knowledge of having shipped multi-million selling games across more or less every platform there is. Having access to this places RealityLab: London in a great position to be able to respond to complex interactive briefs, and whether we are gamifying something for online, VR or a live installation, our aim is to deliver a level of technical quality, interaction and design that is akin to the best commercial games.”

Train2Game News AppGameKit Education Bundle

The Game Creators today launched the AppGameKit Education Bundle. The special pack, specifically developed for the Education market, includes AppGameKit, Giant Asset Packs 1 & 2, Games Pack1 and a 3D Asset Pack.The free Educational Materials Pack, which compliments the Education Bundle, includes an ‘Instructors Guide’, written specifically for teachers and tutors, and enables them to develop AppGameKit courses and classes to teach programming and app development. The simple guide includes code exercises with commands, loops, variables, images and sprites.

Lee Bamber, CEO of The Game Creators, said, “Educational establishments considering which engine to use should give serious consideration to this specialist education pack. Whilst products like Unity and Unreal are free, they arrive with almost no game assets, requiring the schools, colleges and universities to purchase additional graphics and sound for their class. The AppGameKit Education Pack includes everything a teacher or lecturer could need with a discounted pricing structure to match the size of class being taught.”

AppGameKit’s Education Bundle is available at https://www.appgamekit.com/education.php and on steam on http://store.steampowered.com/sub/116032/

The Game Creators used AppGameKit to develop Driving Test Success Theory, Hazard Perception and Highway Code apps for UK publisher Focus Multimedia, deploying them onto the App Store, Google Play, Amazon, Mac Store and Blackberry World – all from AppGameKit’s executable code. These Driving Test Success apps are now one of the UK’s #1 ‘Learning to Drive’ apps.

Train2Game News Charity Gaming Bike Ride

Over a dozen heroic videogaming cyclists will be taking on the mammoth 352-mile, four-country, three-day challenge for the fifth consecutive year, between August 20th – 22nd, in an effort to raise funds for numerous UK-based youth and children’s charities.
Generating valuable funds for the worthwhile causes and hot on the wheels of gamescom, one of the toughest work weeks of the year, the troop will kick away their collective stabilisers with a 5am start from Cologne on Friday 20th August. The two-wheeling troop will set out across Germany, heading straight for the Dutch and Belgian borders, before finally venturing into France for the home straight.

Donations will be collected over the coming months and can be made at the team fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gamescomtobrighton2016

Averaging close to 110 miles a day for 3 days solid, their mighty distances are on par with those endured by Le Tour De France’s most challenging routes. Hi-Rez will be supporting the cyclists with a sponsored van that will provide much needed aid every mile on the way.

Hi-Rez Studios has a long history of giving back through gaming and has raised over $830,000 for good causes over the past 4 years. You can check out some of the recent charity events of Hi-Rez Studios in this video.

Speaking about the partnership, Veronique Lallier, VP of European Publishing at Hi-Rez Studios Europe said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with GamesAid on what has become such an iconic UK fundraising institution. In addition to the practical support we’ll be offering the cyclists, our community will be reaching out to them both virtually and, we hope, personally, boosting morale every pedal of the way. We wish them the very best of luck!”

Led by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Cat Channon, and supported by industry veteran Keef Sloan, Director of Through The Line Consulting, it’s not too late for folks to show their support and join them and the gang or donate to the team’s fundraising efforts.

Those in need of inspiration need look no further than these videos for reasons to join the 2016 troop:

James Beavan, company director of Keymailer and cycle hero since the beginning, colourfully illustrates why you should join in his amusing video.

Keef Sloan, Director of Through The Line Consulting, is already on his training bike. He too has been with us since the beginning and has a few words to say about why you should join him this year.

Currently also pedalling in preparation for the epic cycle adventure are:

    Cat Channon, (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

    James Binns, (PCGamesN)

    Tracey McGarrigan, (CEO & Founder, Ansible PR & Communications LTD)

    Tony Solon, (Keymailer)

    Alex Cook, (Senior Manager, Business Development, GAME)

    Ian Pickstock, (Senior Designer, Arooga)

    Michael Pattison, (VP Third Party Relations, Sony)

    Richard Keith, (Chief Revenue Officer, The Yogscast)

    Nick Haywood, (UK PR Specialist, Razer)

With everyone’s combined efforts they are hoping to raise more than ever before for GamesAid, helping disadvantaged and disabled children and young people across the UK.

As always, all costs associated with the ride are covered personally by the cyclists, ensuring every penny goes to the good causes GamesAid supports.

To join these brave travellers and get more details on the adventure simply get in touch at contact@gamesaid.org

Train2Game News BAFTA Game Lecture

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced today that Ilkka Paananen, CEO and co-founder of Supercell, creator of popular mobile games including Clash of Clans and Hay Day, will deliver this year’s prestigious BAFTA Games Lecture. 
The event will take place at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly on Monday 5 September.

The BAFTA Games Lecture aims to deliver valuable insights into the creative minds of some of the world’s most compelling and esteemed games professionals, providing a platform for speakers to share their experiences, as well as their personal vision for the future of the industry. Previous speakers include Jade Raymond, Will Wright, Peter Molyneux, Hideo Kojima, Drs Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk and David Cage.

Ilkka Paananen co-founded the Helsinki-based Supercell in 2010. Since then its four games – Clash of Clans, Hay Day, Boom Beach and Clash Royale – have amassed 100m daily players and remain in the global top 10 years after launch. In June 2016 it was announced that Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited will acquire a majority stake in the Supercell, making it the first European technology start-up to reach a valuation of $10 billion.

During the lecture, Paananen will use case studies to demonstrate how Supercell works to achieve excellence through its company culture and how, through nurturing an environment of small, independent teams, organisations of all sizes can enhance their creativity and business success.

Harvey Elliott, former Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee said: “Ilkka Paananen has been instrumental in establishing the ever-more important role of mobile within the games landscape as a whole. His belief in the importance of company culture in nurturing creative excellence, and his passion for creating simple, fun, memorable games are central to his work; and we look forward to him sharing these insights at the BAFTA Games Lecture which has over the years hosted creative leaders from all over the world, making it a truly global platform for the games sector and the wider creative industry.”

In addition to his role at Supercell, Ilkka Paananen helps other entrepreneurs as both an investor and as an active member of the Helsinki-based startup community where he mentors and coaches other founders. Alongside his co-founder Mikko Kodisoja, he has established the We Foundation to fight social inequality and help disadvantaged children in Finland.

Prior to founding Supercell, Paananen was the CEO and co-founder of Finnish games developer Sumea, which was later acquired by Digital Chocolate, where he worked as President until 2010.

‘BAFTA Games Lecture: Ilkka Paananen’ event details:

Monday 5 September at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly in London

19:30 Champagne Taittinger Reception

20:00 Event commences

Public tickets for the BAFTA Games Lecture will go on sale at 13:00 on Friday 22 July 2016. To book tickets, please visit www.bafta.org/whats-on .

Video highlights, a podcast and a transcript from the event will be available in BAFTA Guru, BAFTA’s online learning channel www.bafta.org/guru . Recordings of previous Games Lectures are available now.