Train2Game News 8th Annual VFX Festival

The 8th annual VFX Festival, hosted by Escape Studios, returns to the Southbank Centre from 16 – 18 March 2020, with a focus on discovering and developing new and emerging talent, featuring sessions on Fortnite and Spider-Man.

The VFX Festival is an annual celebration of visual effects, animation, games and motion graphics. It’s an event for emerging talent to explore the creative industries; it’s also an opportunity for creative professionals to share their insights on award-winning productions.

The VFX Festival EDU will take place on Monday 16 March 2020 at the Southbank Centre. It’s an event for school and college students who want to learn about the world of VFX, Games, Animation and Motion Graphics through inspiring talks and meetings with industry professionals.

The VFX Festival Emerging Talent will take place from Tuesday 17 March – Wednesday 18 March 2020, also at the Southbank Centre. It’s an event for students currently studying within higher education and young professionals who are looking to kick start a career in the creative industries. The festival will be filled with inspiring talks, panel discussions and a recruitment exhibition zone.

The VFX Festival After Hours will take place on 16 – 18 March 2020 at Escape Studios in in centralLondon, within walking distance from numerous award winning studios. These late afternoon technical talks and advanced workshops are aimed at experienced industry professionals looking for knowledge-building opportunities and the chance to network. The sessions are also suitable for young professionals looking to progress their career in the creative industries.

Dr Ian Palmer, Director of Escape Studios, said: “We are thrilled to be going into our 8th year of the VFX Festival, which is testament to our commitment to the creative industries in the UK and our ongoing pledge to create studio-ready talent. 2020 sees another year attracting and showcasing the latest expertise that our fast-growing industry offers; whether it’s from VFX, animation, games or motion graphics. If you’re established in the industry, looking to network and raise your profile, or want to find out how to get your first break, we’ve something for everyone.”

Over the three days festival attendees will have a chance to participate in talks on award winning projects, includingHis Dark Materials: Animating the daemons - Marion Strunck, Lead Animator at Framestore Fortnite World Cup Tournament: Real Time in VFX - Eolan Power, AR Director at NVIZ Creating the dazzling ‘Illusion Battle’ sequence in Spider-Man: Far From Home - Alexis Wajsbrot, VFX Supervisor at Framestore Of Rats and Goop, Stranger Things Monsters by Rodeo FX - Yvon Jardel, Animation Supervisor at Rodeo FX

In addition,attendees will receive encouragement and advice from experts in careers and recruitment::

Panel Discussions:VFX, Animation, Games and Motion Graphics - Monday 16 March - Panel hosted by Access: VFX VFX and Animation - Tuesday 17 March Games - Wednesday 18 March

As part of the Recruitment Exhibition Zone, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from studios, to discover more about their available roles, career pathways and progression. Studios confirmed for the Exhibition include Bluezoo,The Focus, DNEG, RodeoFX and Framestore.

Train2Game News Socks For GAMEs

GAME, the leading high street video game retailer today announced that it will be re-homing unwanted Christmas socks in exchange for in-store credit, with its first ever New Year Sock Swap!

Following the Christmas period, unwanted socks get thrown to the back of the drawer and forgotten, or worse still – they go straight in the bin. Over 25% of Brits class socks as their least-desired Christmas present, with a combined £5B a year wasted on unwanted presents, whilst the number one requested item for the UK’s homeless shelter is….. socks!

To ensure the dreaded Christmas sock reaches people who actually want them and to kickstart 2020 positively, GAME will be offering customers extra credit for their trade-ins when they bring in their unwanted (new & unworn!) pairs.

An extra £2 will be given for games and an extra £15 when customers trade in tablets, phones or consoles. Every pair of socks collected will then be donated to various homeless charities to help communities up and down the country.

For more information please visit http://www.game.co.uk or hashtag #GAMESOCKS on twitter for pictures and news.

Train2Game News EGX Rezzed Tickets Available Now

Gamer Network are delighted to announce that EGX Rezzed will return to London’s Tobacco Dock, on the 26 – 28 March 2020!

Tickets are now available for gamers to gain the opportunity to play the very best pre-release games and hundreds of other breakthrough indie titles, all being showcased alongside many iconic game developers, each sharing their unique insight into the gaming industry.

EGX Rezzed is where indie games shine – an essential event for both creators and players.

Much loved gaming personalities from the likes of Outside Xbox and Dicebreaker are already confirmed for the 2020 show, with Outside Xbox bringing their ever-popular Oxventure Dungeons & Dragons show on both Friday 27th and Saturday 28th.

Tickets are available now from the official EGX Rezzed website priced from £20.

Train2Game News Yorkshire Games Festival 2020

Assisting as a bastion for the UK’s ever-ambitious and successful games industry in the north of England, the National Science and Media Museum is excited to announce that the much-celebrated Yorkshire Games Festival will return to Bradford for its fourth outing between 5-9 February 2020.

Once again, the five-day event will be pitched at developers, gamers, and families alike, offering a wide variety of events and activities to appeal across the spectrum. Leading the line from an industry perspective, however, will be the Games Talks sessions from professionals and experts running across two dedicated days, 6-7 February.

Tickets for Yorkshire Games Festival: Game Talks 2020 are now available and can be picked up at the Yorkshire Games Festival website.

Heading up the line-up next year will be a bewitching mix of both developers and journalists, ensuring a heady blend of insight and inspiration for all attendees. Said billing will include famed indie developer Mike Bithell of Bithell Games, best known for Thomas Was Alone, Volume, and most recently John Wick Hex; Chloe Crookes of Team17 who serves as Senior QA Analyst; Sumo Digital level designer Zi Peters whose work at the company includes Hitman 2 and earlier in his career, Halo Wars 2; Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of award-winning virtual reality developer nDreams; renowned journalist Alysia Judge, whose work has been published in the BBC, The Guardian, IGN, and The Independent; Lead Animator Emma Hollingsworth of UK-based publisher Coatsink; and celebrated UK studio Rare will talk about the making of its swashbuckling multiplayer pirate action game Sea of Thieves. Further speakers will be announced in the future.

“We’ve made a point of providing a welcome environment for industry luminaries to come and lay open their views, their experiences, and their knowledge to what is always an engaged and committed crowd,” says Festival Director, Kathryn Penny.

“The next Yorkshire Games Festival is going to be no different, building on that strong relationship we’re developing with the industry and bringing those voices to the next generation – a generation of creatives who can’t typically head to events elsewhere around the country. It’s a unique meeting of minds, making the next festival the best yet.”

Adding to the mix of the event will be a demo by Team17 of its forthcoming co-op party game Moving Out – coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2020 – serving as the title’s first UK hands-on demo outside of London.

Team17 will also be setting up a pop-up Usability Lab at the museum, where attendees of the festival can get real-world experience of what it’s like to test games and give feedback.

“It’s exactly publishers like Team17 and activities like the Usability Lab that help us to illustrate just how wide and diverse the games industry is to our attendees,” continues Penny. “It’s very easy for those just thinking about starting out in games to have their eyes fixed on the big glamorous jobs at the Triple-A studios and not realise the industry has a wealth of other jobs and professions to offer.”

As such, also making the line-up this year are the developers behind CBBC’s online multiplayer game Nightfall, who will be showcasing the game at a dedicated play station across the course of the Let’s Play Family Weekend – running between 8-9 February – allowing up to 30 children to take it on at once. There will also be a gallery detailing the development of the game, alongside the chance to talk to those involved. It’s one of many opportunities for those starting out in the industry to see the other avenues to operating a successful business: it doesn’t all have to be Triple-A killer-apps for consoles.

Indeed, attendees will be able to get further insight into possible pathways in the world of games via “Meet the Developers” networking sessions, as well as dedicated career surgeries designed to shine a light on potential vocations, plus the return of the Young Developers Conference for 11-18 year olds, once again in partnership with BAFTA and the BAFTA Young Game Designers initiative.

For developers, Yorkshire Games Festival can also announce it has begun canvassing for games to exhibit at the Northern Games Showcase, with the remit being to show off to best the north of the UK has to offer to the festival’s throng of attendees.

If you’d like your game to be part of the mix, please contact Jack.Weedon@scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk.

The full schedule across the course of the week will be: –

  • Game Talks – 6-7 February: Talks featuring Mike Bithell of Bithell Games, Zi Peters of Sumo Digital, nDreams’ Patrick O’Luanaigh, journalist Alysia Judge, Chloe Crookes of Team17, Emma Hollingsworth of Coatsink, and celebrated Sea of Thieves studio Rare.
  • Young Developers Conference – 5-9 February: In partnership with BAFTA, the Young Developers Conference is a free and accessible event for young game developers. The conference will help provide opportunities to learn valuable skills and gain knowledge through talks, workshops and masterclasses led by industry professionals.
  • Let’s Play Family Weekend – 8-9 February: A weekend focus on families, young game developers, gaming enthusiasts and everyone in between, promoting intergenerational gameplay and learning. It features the BBC’s Nightfall, a Rocket League tournament in partnership with the British Esports Association, an exhibition of development projects from investment venture XR Stories looking at immersive and interactive technologies for storytelling, and a panel discussion about responsibility in video games chaired by Alysia Judge.

Keep your eye out for more announcements in the weeks ahead.

More details on the festival can found on the Yorkshire Games Festival website.

Train2Game News Pixel Game Maker MV Game Development Challenge

The Pixel Game Maker MV Game Development Challenge, a contest seeking talented developers using the intuitive yet fully-featured 2D game engine from Playism and Kadokawa Corporation, is now underway.

Taking place until March 30, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. PT, the competition offers a grand prize award of ¥1,000,000 JPY (approx. £7,539) and opportunities to be among the first Pixel Game Maker MV creations published on Nintendo Switch. In addition to the grand prize, there are award categories for side view, top view, multiplayer games, and more. Winning entries may also be adapted into books, comics, and more.

Sister software to RPG Maker, which sold more than 2,000,000 copies worldwide, Pixel Game Maker MV puts 2D game development in the hands of first-time developers with no programming knowledge while maintaining the flexibility, power, and depth required by long-time game creators through extensible scripting.

Featuring native physics and local multiplayer support as well as 20 sample games and a host of modern, sci-fi, and fantasy assets, Pixel Game Maker MV makes it easy to get started prototyping. Developers can carry their games through to completion using the assets to hand or import their own to create top-down or sidescrolling action games in any genre.

“If you can imagine it, you can create it with Pixel Game Maker MV,” said Noboru Mogami, producer, Kadokawa Corporation. “With this contest, we’re hoping to find amazing talents to highlight and nurture. We’ve already seen some truly wonderful things come out of our community so far and we’re looking forward to the delights our creators still have in store for us.”

Pixel Game Maker MV is available now on Steam in Japanese, English and Simplified Chinese for $84.99 USD/£67.99.

The full official rules can be found on the Pixel Game Maker MV Game Development Challenge page. For more information about the engine, please visit the Pixel Game Maker MV official website, Facebook page and follow @PixelGameMaker on Twitter.

Train2Game News Gayming Live Career Help

A full day of careers advice, CV polishing, job opportunities and more will be held during the Gayming Live week, which is being held throughout London from Monday September 30th.

On Wednesday October 2nd, people interested in a career in games are invited along to Soho Radio on Great Windmill Street, London, where staff from multi-award-winning specialist games recruitment agency Amiqus will be on hand to provide advice on the multitude of positions options available – and, importantly, how to get a foot on the careers ladder.

What’s more, visitors to the event will be even be able to apply for jobs there and then.

This event is suitable for people of all levels, whether you’re new to the industry, or a seasoned pro looking for their next big move!

In addition, there will be a series of careers-focused radio shows broadcast throughout the day. These can be accessed via http://www.sohoradiolondon.com.

“We’re delighted to be able to be hosting the Careers Day during the Gayming Live week,” said Liz Prince, Business Manager at Amiqus. “We know that there are many, many students who desperately want to move into the exciting world of video games, but don’t know where to start. Similarly, we want to show those who aren’t necessarily gamers that there’s a place for them within games – whether that’s in programming, marketing, design, audio, media or beyond. We look forward to welcoming anyone with an interest in games to Soho Radio.”

Robin Gray, Co-Founder of Gayming Magazine, and the brainchild of Gayming Live added: “Our Careers Day during Gayming Live is for everyone with an interest in working in games, not just those within the LGBTQ community. We look forward to welcoming students and more along to Soho House, and hopefully kickstarting some new careers!”

Sponsored by Chappy, Green Man Gaming’s Pride Run, Mediatonic, Amiqus, Fusebox Games, Modern Wolf and Failbetter Games – and supported by Ditch The Label, Soho Radio, Jaegermeister and Magic Notion – Gayming Live will take place from September 30th until Saturday October 5th, with a series of events taking place at a pop-up shop in Great Windmill Street, London. A dedicated Gayming radio show will take also take place throughout the week, with all the events and initiatives throughout Gayming Live designed to bring the community together and replicate the ethos and fun of the Gayming magazine itself.

Highlights of the Gayming Live week include:

  • Discover the art of gaming – an exhibition of LGBTQ game artists
  • Pride Run preview & competition – check out the dance-tastic new game from Green Man Gaming
  • LGBTQ industry mixer – grab a drink and network with fellow industry professionals
  • Careers workshops – CV polishing and advice, courtesy of Amiqus
  • Ginny Lemon’s 8-Bit Drag Show – Video games meet drag queens
  • Writing for video games – Story writers from Fusebox Games will be offering top tips and ideas

These events are FREE to attend. The itinerary and locations can be found here – https://gaymingmag.com/gayminglive2019/

Train2Game News eSports and Gaming Increasing In Value

The gaming and eSports industry is on track for $300 billion per year revenue by 2025 and continuing to grow in double digits.

But, investors seem to be missing the boat as this sector takes flight.

That comes from leading portfolio managers looking at the industry and its huge potential. They point to the fact that investors are “newbs” in this space and lack the experience when it comes to buying into the growing market.

The eGaming industry’s rapid growth is being driven by exciting innovations such as cloud gaming and online interaction. Companies looking to take the eSports category to the next level include Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), Take-Two (NASDAQ: TTWO), and NVidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), who all have major investments in the development end of the business.

Other companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of the potential for massive ad revenue derived from the sector. Versus Systems Inc. has already put itself front and centre in the esports segment. Versus Systems (CSE: VS) (OTCQB: VRSSF) focuses on advertising and development of in-game promotion and prizing tools. The emerging Vancouver-based company is seeing an influx of gaming companies looking to use their system to tap eSports and eGaming ad revenue.

A Market That Just Can’t Be Ignored

It appears that the eSports trend is more than just a bubble. That’s what a prominent portfolio manager discovered at one event in Toronto, Canada. Nick Mersch says it was the giant line for the League of Legends’ semi-finals outside Toronto’s giant Scotiabank Arena that convinced him of the massive opportunity being ignored by many investors.

“The tickets were being resold for more than Leafs tickets,” Mersch is quoted as saying.

In looking at his firm’s figures, he realized the numbers were incredible. They predict combined video game and eSports revenue will hit US$149 billion this year, surpassing the US$140 billion that the traditional sports market is expected to generate.

“To me, it’s one of the most asymmetrically priced risk profiles in a lot of equities right now. Just because there’s not a lot of attention being paid to it,” Mersch said. “There are so many future monetization possibilities that it just has nowhere to go but up.”

It appears that Mersch has his metrics well researched. Figures reveal that the average NFL fan spends roughly US$60 per year, while the average eSports fan spends only around US$5. That’s a lot of room to grow revenue from an industry that has 700 million active players online and about 1.2 billion playing some form of games.

Versus Plugs in Its WINFINITE Platform to Monetize the Gaming Business

Versus Systems is one of the young, forward-thinking companies expected to benefit from their ability to generate revenue as developers increase their engagement and retention rates of using the WINFINITE platform. The platform will offer viewers and players the chance to play for real-world prizes they want while providing brands and businesses an opportunity to reach clients through a massive online pool of gamers and viewers.

For starters, giant HP, Inc. is on board with Versus. The company has just signed an agreement with Versus and says it will integrate the WINFINITE technology into its products. Versus is powering OMEN Rewards, a real-world prizing platform built into OMEN Command Center and available for download by any Win10 PC via the Windows Store.

Versus also entered an agreement with Animoca Brands Corporation Limited that will see the companies transfer shares. Versus Systems will benefit from the broad portfolio of Animoca offerings. That includes games like Crazy Defense Heroes, The Sandbox and Crazy Kings, as well as other intellectual properties like Garfield, Thomas & Friends and Doraemon.

Another early participant in the Versus universe is Ludare Games Group. Versus has already signed a partnership deal with Ludare Games. Ludare has worked with some of the most successful intellectual property in the world – including huge film, television, and gaming properties. Ludare plans to integrate the Versus System platform into its upcoming games, including augmented reality games.

Many Will Look for Winners

Professionals like Mersch, who co-manages a global investors fund, are constantly faced with how to best dive into the sea of gaming opportunities. His firm allocates about 20 per cent of its holdings towards the esports theme. In reviewing the options, they see three types of inroads for investors who want to take part now; publishers, teams and technology.

While publishers and teams offer tremendous direct input to the eSports category, they require a lot of backing and can take a long lead time to realize the revenue. New games, for instance, can take six years and more and US$500,000 to $1 million to develop traction. Early investors may be more attracted to the technology side as it gains attention from companies creating new ways to monetize and generate revenues that are immediate and scalable.

Large companies are already capitalizing with major inroads in the eGaming industry, including:

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) focuses on the development of video games consoles and gaming content for PCs and mobile devices. The game maker showed good progress in its latest earnings release. New content is already trickling out to player communities across Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, and the player response has been very positive so far.

Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO) which owns video game publishers Rockstar Games and 2K, reported gross profits of $299 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2020. The majority of revenue over the period was generated by “recurrent consumer spending” — which includes in-game purchases and add-on content to existing titles — from titles such as Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Redemption 2.

Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) just announced an enterprise-grade hybrid cloud on AWS that is optimized for machine learning, AI, and data science workflows. The VMware Cloud on AWS with Nvidia is capable of operating from cloud and on-premise servers and will make it easier to migrate VMware vSphere-based applications to the cloud to accelerate high-performance computing or machine learning for research, experimentation, and deployment in production.

For a more on the potential of Versus Systems in the eGaming and eSports markets, view the report at USA News Group:

Get Ready for the Next Level of Online Advertising and the Wild Profits That Will Follow

Train2Game News Zordix Games Publishing

Zordix is starting a new chapter with a publishing division called Zordix Publishing.

The company is now able to publish titles for all major platforms on the global market. In addition to their own games, Zordix Publishing will focus on establishing titles with great potential from independent studios on the global markets.

Zordix now has capabilities to publish games on all major consoles.

The Zordix Publishing division will focus on smaller titles developed by independent studios, where Zordix can contribute with expertise, marketing and publishing.

The company is in a good position to do this, with established contacts and channels to all markets.

“ We are happy and proud to be able to present our next venture in Zordix Publishing. This venture will allow us to reinvest our earnings into new exciting game developers where we see a lot of potential, while also giving back to the industry. Zordix Publishing will be a key strategic move for us, and we look forward with great excitement” – Matti Larsson, CEO Zordix

Independent studios who are looking for publishing should head over to Zordix website, and go to the publishing part of the website.

Train2Game HyperX eSports Truck

A 21 metre American style truck, known as Big Betty, will be making its Scottish debut at Glasgow’s Resonate Gaming Festival on 20-21 July at the SEC, as it hosts the final of Esport Scotland’s Scottish Esports League Live.

The HyperX Esports truck, brought to Resonate by Currys PC World and Legion by Lenovo was created to allow esports fans the chance to experience multi-player games and boasts a rooftop VIP area and players’ lounge with 20 gaming stations. The 2019 league final will be the first to be held live on the Big Betty truck, where contestants can battle it out to get their hands on an amazing £5,000 prize pool.

Alongside the tournament, show guests will be able to take part in live games on board the world’s first self-contained Esports facility, such as Super Smash Bros, Rainbow Six Siege, CS:GO and Rocket League.

James Hood, Esports Scotland owner, said: “We were over the moon to be a part of Resonate last year and this year we are coming back with a bang and we can’t wait for our teams to experience our finals live on Big Betty.”

Resonate is the largest gaming exhibition in Scotland, showcasing the latest games, software and gadgets. Spread across six fully-interactive zones; including the 18+; Indie Games; Kids; Retro and Esports Zone as well as the all-new Careers and Education Zone, the ultimate gaming experience will display some of the biggest brands in the industry.

Tickets are priced from £12.50 and available to buy from http://www.resonatetotalgaming.com (online tickets are subject to booking fee). Doors open from 10am – 6pm.

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers 2019 Winners

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the winners of the 2019 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition at an awards ceremony last night at its headquarters, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly.

Four aspiring game designers aged between 10 and 18, as well as an inspirational teacher, have all been honoured with BAFTA YGD awards.

The BAFTA YGD competition, now in its ninth year, presents awards in two main categories: The Game Concept Award, for a written idea for a new game; and the Game Making Award, for a game made using computer software. The 2019 winners, chosen by a jury of industry experts, are:

  • Jesse Waymont for ‘I Seek Death’ – Game Concept Award (10-14 years)
  • Elizabeth Orji-Smith for ‘Creatively Bankrupt’ – Game Concept Award (15-18 years)
  • Maximillian Robinson for ‘LASERASE: Demolition in the future’ – Game Making Award (10-14 years)
  • Adam Pace for ‘Wip’ – Game Making Award (15-18 years)

Matthew Applegate, founder of the Creative Computing Club, was awarded the YGD Mentor Award.

This Award is presented to an individual nominated by the public for their involvement in the education of young game designers.

In a written message to attendees and the young finalists, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and President of BAFTA, said: “This year the entries have an overwhelming social purpose to them, focusing on issues including mental health, climate change, conservation, disability, bereavement, and transgender rights. Many of the game ideas strive to educate players of all ages on the social issues they address, hoping to prompt real change in people’s lives. I think it is fantastic to see young people using games to express themselves and purposes that they identify with.”

The ceremony was hosted by Alysia Judge (games journalist and presenter) and Aoife Wilson (writer, presenter and video producer for Eurogamer), with notable industry figures presenting the awards to the winners, including YouTuber Dean Dobbs, game developer and co-founder of Media Molecule Siobhan Reddy, and BAFTA Games Vice President David Gardner. BAFTA-winning game designer Mike Bithell delivered the closing speech for the ceremony, praising the young designers’ creativity and talent.

The annual YGD competition, which began in 2010, aims to demonstrate the creativity that goes in to game design and give young people, and their teachers, an understanding of the rewarding careers available within the industry. The four winners, chosen from 53 finalists, received a host of prizes, including tours of games studios, software licenses, games and a mentor from the games industry to help them develop their skills further.

Previous winners have gone on to have successful careers within the industry. Dan Pearce was part of BAFTA’s flagship new talent scheme ‘Breakthrough Brits’, before becoming BAFTA nominated for his work. Dan Smith released his game The Spectrum Retreat with Ripstone Games Publishers last year. The game went on to be nominated at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards.

Dr. Jo Twist OBE, Chair of Games Committee at BAFTA, said: “It is fantastic to see such a high calibre of games from upcoming creative talent being rewarded. It’s been another great year for the competition, and with previous winners having gone on to be BAFTA nominated, I can’t wait to see this year’s winners go out and make their own mark on the industry.”

Supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Creative Assembly (SEGA), Criterion (EA), Jagex, King, PlayStation, Ubisoft, and WB Games.

For more information visit http://ygd.bafta.org/