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Train2Game News Codemasters Opens Birmingham Studio

Codemasters® today opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art development studio in the heart of Birmingham, UK.

The new office in the Grade II listed Alpha Tower, formerly the headquarters of regional television company ATV, is now home to the BAFTA award-winning F1® game development team which currently boasts 108 employees. The office space spans 14,000 square feet and has been equipped with the latest technology including a D-Box race simulator which delivers the ultimate driving experience. The new studio replaces The Custard Factory, where the company spent three years having previously been based in Tricorn House.

Codemasters’ ties to Birmingham dates back to the mid-1990s, as a development studio for the now defunct Rage Software. The studio lived-on as independent developer Swordfish Studios and was acquired by Codemasters in 2008, collaborating on titles including Jonah Lomu Rugby and World Championship Rugby. The studio’s first F1® game was the BAFTA award-winning F1® 2010 and the studio has produced F1® video games through to the present day.

“Birmingham continues to be a hub for attracting talented developers and, as our studio continues to expand, making Alpha Tower our new home is a testament to the quality of the people who want to work for Codemasters in this incredible city,” commented Ian Flatt, Head of Studio, Codemasters Birmingham. “Creativity is at the heart of every decision we make and we wanted a new home that inspires people, offers our employees the best working facilities and enables them to fulfil their potential.”

For more information on Codemasters go to http://www.codemasters.com/

Train2Game News Blizzard Fine Art Prints

Official fine art prints from Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® are coming to Cook and Becker for sale starting today!

These beautiful prints from Blizzard’s iconic game universes are officially licensed and will be released in several sets over time.

The first set of prints, from Blizzard’s legendary massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, are available today, with work by artists from Blizzard and around the world who have helped bring the game to life for millions of players and art fans globally.

Visit the online store to see the entire selection:

Click here to see the World of Warcraft collection in full

The eye-catching and vibrant artwork of Blizzard’s talented artists has helped shape Blizzard’s iconic worlds.

A spokesman from Cook and Becker said “At Cook and Becker, we are very proud to work with Blizzard on these official fine art print collections, which have been reproduced to the highest standards with details that are as close to the artist’s intentions as possible. Our reproductions are of archival quality, intended to help preserve the history and legacy of these culturally significant games, and Blizzard fans are sure to be pleased with these productions.”

The World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo prints to be released by Cook and Becker are all limited-edition Certified Art Giclees™.

The prints are available for purchase unframed, or with a high-quality frame or finish.

For more information, visit the official website: www.cookandbecker.com.

Train2Game News The Walking Dead Telltale Definitive Series

Following the recent conclusion of TELLTALE’S THE WALKING DEAD: THE FINAL SEASON, Skybound Games announced it will release all four seasons of the acclaimed game series in a comprehensive physical bundle for PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC.

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series will be available in three Collector’s Packs – Protector, Guardian, and Signature – each containing exclusive digital and physical bonuses.

Exclusively for Skybound Insiders for a limited time, all three Collector’s Packs of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series are now available for pre-order on Skybound.com. Pre-orders will last until May 31st or sold out.

Furthermore, Skybound Games has just released a new Definitive Series announcement video hosted by Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller and featuring interviews from both the Skybound Games and Still Not Bitten teams, including Melissa Hutchison (voice of Clementine). Check out the new video here:

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series Collector’s Pack details:

Every Collector’s Pack of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series will include all four seasons of the game, plus The Walking Dead: Michonne, along with digital bonuses.

The Definitive Series includes over 50 hours of gameplay across 23 unique episodes, with graphical enhancements and gameplay improvements, behind the scenes bonus features, over 10 hours of developer commentary, a “Return of The Walking Dead” documentary short, faithful recreations of classic menus, a music player that includes 40+ musical tracks, and more.

In addition to game content and digital bonuses, each of the three Collector’s Packs will include special physical bonus items including:

Protector Pack – Game content, digital bonuses, an Ericson School for Troubled Youth t-shirt, Clementine & Lee Enamel Pins, a Kenny Hat, Clementine Nesting Dolls, and a Disco Broccoli Plush.

Guardian Pack – Including all items from the Protector Pack in a box with gold stamped signatures from the Still Not Bitten team, plus a 10” Clementine & Lee Diorama, and an 18”x24” Art Print from comic book artist Eric Zawadzki.

Signature Pack – Including all items from both Guardian and Protector Packs in a signature stamped box, plus a signed Art Print from members of the Still Not Bitten team, voiceover actors and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. Only 100 available!

For detailed information about each of the Collector’s Packs, please visit https://www.skybound.com/telltales-the-walking-dead-the-definitive-series.

Based on Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series allows players to experience the full story of young survivor Clementine as she grows from scared little girl to capable survivor in a videogame series that set the benchmark for storytelling in games.

A light of hope in a dark world, Clementine goes through many protectors and weathers many threats, learning to fight back in an apocalypse where the weak are crushed and the cruel get results. Always at a disadvantage, Clementine must outsmart and out-will foes stronger than her, and become one of the toughest people still alive, despite her small stature. It’s up to the player how much Clementine trusts, who she loves, who she hurts, and what she chooses to protect when she cannot save everyone.

To date, TELLTALE’S THE WALKING DEAD has sold millions of episodes worldwide, earning more than 100 Game of the Year awards and has also received two BAFTA Video Game Awards for Best Story.

Fans should stay tuned for more news surrounding The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series by following Skybound Games’ Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as www.skybound.com.

Train2Game News The Next 10 Mega Drive Mini Games

Whoaaa, Nelly! It’s time to run and jump our way to the next lineup of timeless classics making their way to the SEGA Mega Drive Mini with some of the biggest characters in video game history.

SEGA Mega Drive Mini, Starring:

The GROOVY! worm himself, Earthworm Jim!

Sonic’s BFF, Tails, in his debut performance, in Sonic the Hedgehog 2!

The one and only, Mickey Mouse, in two classically-animated games, Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, each with their own beloved casts of characters.

The Next 10

  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi III
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Landstalker

SEGA Mega Drive Mini-FAQ:

Q. When does it launch?

A. September 19, 2019

Q. How many games will be included?

A. 40 games.

Q. Which games will be included?

A. The first 20 titles included with the system, with the rest to be announced intermittently over the coming months, are:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier 2
  • Shining Force
  • Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Comix Zone
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Castle of Illusion
  • World of Illusion
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi III
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Landstalker

Q. Which version of the Mega Drive is the Mini based on?

A. It’s based on the original Model 1 Mega Drive which launched in Oct. 1988 in Japan, Aug. 1989 in North America, and Nov. 1990 everywhere else.

Q. How big is it in comparison to the original console?

A. It’s approximately 55% of the original Model 1 size.

Q. What do you get in the box?

A. The Mega Drive Mini comes complete with 40 games, Two replica three-button USB Mega Drive controllers, One USB to Micro-B power cable, One power adapter (North America only), and One HDMI cable.

Q. Who handled the ports?

A. M2 is handling the porting process. They’ve previously worked on SEGA AGES and SEGA 3D Classics Collection, with a fantastic reputation based on the quality of their emulation projects and their faithfully recreated ports.

Q. Can I use original Mega Drive controllers with the Mini?

A. No, only the provided USB controllers.

Q. How much will it cost at launch?

A. £69.99

Q. Where can I find more information?

A. megadrivemini.sega.com

Train2Game News XIII Returns

Microïds and PlayMagic Ltd unveil today a teaser for the remake of the cult classic XIII, the cel-shading FPS initially released in 2003.

Players will be delighted to learn that XIII’s remake will be available the 13th of November 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac!

Based on the first five volumes of the eponymous comic book series, XIII conquered the gamers’ hearts with its unparalleled mix between a story-driven adventure, solid gameplay and a unique artistic direction.

“We aim to craft the finest adventure for players and XIII is definitely in line with our publishing strategy. Revisiting this game came naturally as we felt this unique kind of story-driven FPS experience was missing in today’s gaming landscape. Our goal is to bring XIII’s compelling story to a new generation of players with the best possible graphics and animations.” Declares François Coulon – Head of Production at Microïds

“The PlayMagic team is very excited for the opportunity to remake a true classic; modernizing the graphics, sound and animations while remaining faithful to the original XIII’s incredible look and feel. XIII’s gameplay mechanics are being reworked in an effort to modernize the experience in a way that encompasses the original spirit of the game. We are sure that the fans of the original game will love rediscovering one of their all-time favourites while new players discover a truly iconic masterpiece in a new light.” Declares Giuseppe Crugliano, CEO & Creative Director at PlayMagic Ltd.

The story:

Play as «Thirteen», a talented soldier who lost his memory and has been accused of killing the President of the United States. You wake up injured and amnesic on Brighton Beach with the only clue being a small key and a mysterious tattoo « XIII » next to your clavicle. It’s now your job to search for answers in the 34 levels of the solo campaign. Don’t worry, you will find the appropriate weapon arsenal along the way.

More information about this remake will be revealed soon… Stay tuned!
XIII’s remake will be available the 13th of November 2019, both in physical and in digital editions on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac. The rating is still pending.

Train2Game News StandUp for GamesAid 2019

UK games industry charity GamesAid is excited to announce that its hilarious stand-up comedy night, StandUp for GamesAid 2019, will be returning to The Comedy Store on Monday 13th May.

GamesAid’s Patron and MC resident Imran Yusuf will once again be your charismatic host leading a cracking crew of comedy stars, to keep you laughing all night.

This year’s line-up includes:

  • Shoot From The Hip
  • Yuriko Kotani
  • Alex Kealy.
  • John Moloney

Year after year, Stand Up for GamesAid has proven to be a whopping success raising over £12,200 in 2018 making the event the most fun and easiest way to raise money for a good cause. Last year was a sell-out, so let’s make this year even bigger!

Tickets are available right now at just £17 (+ £2 booking fee) and all profits raised will go to GamesAid and their life-changing charities.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting The Comedy Store website:

https://thecomedystore.co.uk/london/show/stand-games-aid/

GamesAid will also be holding a raffle to give you the chance to win some incredible prizes including the Black Ops 4 Mystery Box for Xbox One, Assassin’s Creed Origins – God’s Edition for PS4 and many more!

This event always sells out quickly, so grab yours now while they last!

Train2Game News Manchester Gets Gamey

Mancunians using the Metrolink were left puzzled as the city centre’s busiest tram stops were renamed by a team of mischievous computer game characters.

Led by Mario, the horde of costume characters wreaked havoc on tram stops, replacing signs with famous game locations and names.

Piccadilly Gardens was renamed Rainbow Road after the iconic Mario Kart level with the help of Mario and Luigi.

St Peter’s Square was renamed Tetris Square with onlookers stopping to capture the characters causing mayhem and take a picture.

Commuters were left in shock at Shudehill when greeted by the gory Nurse from Silent Hill getting off the tram.

The activity was in celebration of the North’s biggest gaming event PLAY Expo which takes place at Manchester Central on May 4 and May 5 – the entire Metrolink network has been renamed.

Other stops given the computer game treatment included Market Street which became Hyrule Castle from The Legend of Zelda and Exchange Square which was renamed Raccoon City from Resident Evil.

PLAY Expo will feature almost 1,000 free to play gaming screens with a huge range of games to play from retro favourites like Pac-Man and Mario right the way up to current blockbusters like Fortnite and Minecraft.

The show also celebrates all elements of the gaming industry with a host of cosplayers, tournaments, industry guests and even careers advice for those looking to work in the world of gaming.

For more information and to buy tickets visit playexpomanchester.com.

Tickets to PLAY Expo cost: Adults £20, Child £14, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £58 per day or Adults £34, Child £24, Family £96 for the Weekend ticket and can be bought from playexpomanchester.com.

Train2Game News Devs.Tv eSports Show

Devs.tv is a new game developer specific social platform.

The main goal is for the platform to become an all-around social toolkit for game developers and give them the necessary resources to keep on creating awesome games and to succeed in a growing industry.

With the Devs.tv platform, they are aiming to close the gap between educational institutes, employers and individual developers.

For this first version of open beta, Devs.tv released the first set of free tools to use, including portfolio tools, a jobs board, and a bunch of different social features so developers can share their creations and start making meaningful connections.

DevsTalk esports

DevsTalk is a new gaming industry talk show hosted by Devs.tv and produced in collaboration with IGDA Finland.

DevsTalk is a gaming industry oriented talk show with new themes and guests each month.

The idea is to share the knowledge and produce an entertaining but educating format for the gaming professionals and for the new aspiring developers.

The next show on April 18th 2019 will be produced in Helsinki, Finland at the Music Theater Kapsäkki in front of a live audience.

The live stream and the event itself are both free of charge and if the time doesn’t fit your schedule, you can watch the recording later on from Devs.tv.

Guests at the second DevsTalk are experienced professionals from the industry. Covering multiple aspects related to the esports scheme.

The panellists are:

  • Antti Hätinen – Founder and President, PHZ Full Stack & Team PHZ
  • Joona “natu” Leppänen – Founder and Marketing Director, ENCE
  • Janus Pitkänen – Programme Coordinator, Esports Business, KAMK University

The panel is hosted by Eirik Manne – Community Manager, Devs.tv

To find out more visit https://devs.tv/

Train2Game News Nintendo Labo VR Kit

Battling aliens, feeding hippos, painting like an elephant, flying on the back of a bird and so many other fun and family-friendly virtual reality experiences await in Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – now available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch system.

Combining the physical and digital gameplay of Nintendo Labo with basic VR technology, Nintendo Labo: VR Kit introduces virtual reality in a unique and approachable way for kids and families.

After making a variety of Toy-Con creations – like the Toy-Con VR Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Toy-Con Elephant and Toy-Con Wind Pedal – out of the included materials with the help of the included Nintendo Switch software’s interactive instructions, you can play a variety of simple VR games and experiences by combining your creations with the Nintendo Switch system and its pair of Joy-Con controllers.

Many of the Toy-Con creations also provide sensory feedback, like a blast of air produced from the Toy-Con Wind Pedal or a satisfying “click” of the Toy-Con Blaster, to add to the overall VR experience. You can even design your own bite-sized VR games and experiences with the included programming tools.

“Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is another unique Nintendo Labo experience that further blends the physical and digital worlds to bring the gameplay to life,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Many of our young fans – and even some of our older ones – have yet to try virtual reality, so this is an approachable way for kids and families to get introduced to this new world.”

All the games and experiences in Nintendo Labo: VR Kit are designed to be shareable, fun and social. By alternating turns, everyone in the room can watch and enjoy each other’s reactions and join in the fun. Some games even allow players who aren’t looking into the Toy-Con VR Goggles to interact with the on-screen experience. For example, if you are enjoying the in-game ocean and taking photos with the Toy-Con Camera, another person in the room can wear the Toy-Con Snorkel and step in front of the Camera to make a bug-eyed fish swim quickly toward your face.

Two programming tools are included with the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit software. Toy-Con Garage is the tool that is returning from previous kits and optimized for this kit’s Toy-Con creations. Toy-Con Garage VR is a new tool that allows you to create your own VR games and experiences. In fact, Toy-Con Garage VR is the tool that the development team used to create everything in VR Plaza, where over 60 more bite-sized games and experiences await. It’s easy to go “under the hood” to see how the development team put everything in VR Plaza together. You can use what you’ve learned to start new projects from scratch, or even open VR Plaza games in the Toy-Con Garage VR programming tool and use them as a starting point.

Two primary configurations for Nintendo Labo: VR Kit are now available in stores – one that includes all Toy-Con creations and one that includes a smaller selection of projects to get started: Nintendo Labo: VR Kit: Available at a suggested retail price of £74.99, the complete Nintendo Labo: VR Kit includes the Nintendo Switch software and materials to build all six Toy-Con projects – the Toy-Con VR Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Toy-Con Camera, Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Elephant – as well as a Screen Holder and other accessories. It’s a good option for kids and families who want to dive into the full experience.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Starter Set + Blaster: Available at a suggested retail price of only £34.99, the Starter Set includes the Nintendo Switch software, plus all the components to build the Toy-Con VR Goggles and Toy-Con Blaster, as well as the Screen Holder and other accessories. The Starter Set is a great entry point into the world of Nintendo Labo VR.

If you pick up the Starter Set, you can also purchase the following optional expansion sets exclusively at https://store.nintendo.com/:

  • Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 1: Available for £16.99, Expansion Set 1 includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Elephant and Toy-Con Camera.
  • Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 2: Available for £16.99, Expansion Set 2 includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Bird.

Soon the Toy-Con VR Goggles from the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will allow you to enjoy bonus experiences for two of the most popular Nintendo Switch games in a whole new way!

On April 25, free software updates for the Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild games will add compatibility with the Toy-Con VR Goggles from the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, giving owners of the software some simple and fun bonus experiences to enjoy.

In Super Mario Odyssey, you can play three new mini-missions in three familiar kingdoms. You can also experience the adventure of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild like never before by exploring the vast world of Hyrule with VR visuals and gyro functionality.

For more information about Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, please visit https://labo.nintendo.com/kits/vr-kit/.

Train2Game News Behind The Scenes of FFVII

FINAL FANTASY® VII fans are in for a treat as a brand-new video released today reveals new insight and interesting anecdotes behind the development of the fan-favourite RPG.

The title was recently released on the Nintendo Switch™ system, and the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, and is also available on the App Store®, Google Play™, STEAM® and the Playstation®4 computer entertainment system.

‘Inside FINAL FANTASY’ is an ongoing series that takes a deep dive into the development history of some of the timeless classics within the FINAL FANTASY series.

Today, FINAL FANTASY VII developers reveal the history behind the making of the game, featuring interviews with Yoshinori Kitase (Writer / Director), Shinji Hashimoto (Publicity Producer) and Yusuke Naora (Art Director).

The featurette is available here: https://youtu.be/jNQfY3G35y0.