Train2Game News One Special Day 2017 results


SpecialEffect announced today that the games industry partners involved in their One Special Day fundraising event have so far raised a total of over £300,000 for the charity.

Revenue from game sales and in-game purchases in the UK – and in some cases worldwide – has helped smash the charity’s £100k target for the event. Over £250k of the total was raised by the mobile games industry partners and their communities.

Many companies also contributed through game-themed events, gaming auction items and livestreams before or during the fundraiser on 29 September.

All the money raised will go towards SpecialEffect’s work in creating ways for people with physical disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games.

“This total is way beyond all expectation. We cannot thank all our games industry partners enough for coming together to support people with disabilities,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect. “It’s an astonishing, game-changing total for us. It funds not only our lifelong one-to-one work with people who need our help, but also our collaboration with developers in making games more accessible to severely disabled gamers worldwide.”

“We’ve had an amazing time working with our partners during this event. The games industry and their communities have our heartfelt thanks for the tremendous generosity they have shown.”

The industry partners involved in the event were Seriously, Unity, Supercell, SEGA, Double Fine, Codemasters, Rovio, Playdemic,  Yogscast, Space Ape, Nordeus, Twitch, Ripstone, Frontier Developments, First Touch Games, Bossa Studios, EA Mobile, 505 Games, New Star Games, Boombit Games, Bungie Foundation, The Chinese Room, Curve Digital, Playground Games, Ubisoft Reflections, Firefly Studios, GAME, Nomad Games, MAG Interactive, Zeptolab, eRepublik Labs, Everywear Games, Lightneer, Payload Studios, Sumo Digital, Fresh Planet, Cooperative Ventures, Future plc, Gamesindustry.biz, nDreams, London Studio (Sony), PlayRaven, Prettygreat, Dots, Futureplay, Glu, Halfbrick, Digital Legends, SOVR, Rare, Insert Coin, Remedy Entertainment,  NaturalMotion/Zynga, SEGA Hardlight, Plan of Attack, Yakuto, Tactile Entertainment, UKIE, Rebellion, Bandai Namco, Sports Interactive, Creative Assembly, Tundra, Humble Bundle, EA, Escape Technology, Razer, Dingit.tv, Fingersoft, Make Real, Jam City and Disruptor Beam.

More details about the event and a full list of partners can be found at http://www.onespecialday.org.uk

The charity plan to announce a final fundraising total at the end of October, and the date for One Special Day in 2018 has been set for Friday 28 September.

Train2Game News Big Indie Awards 2017


Steel Media, the publisher of leading mobile gaming site Pocket Gamer, b2b portal PocketGamer.Biz and the popular PG Connects events series, has announced the launch of the brand new Big Indie Awards 2017 in association with indieSky.

Launched back in 2013, the Big Indie Pitch has rapidly grown into the definitive indie developer pitching competition and this year Steel Media has hosted 19 Big Indie Pitch events around the world for mobile, PC and VR developers.

Now the company is bringing that up to a round 20, with the first ever Big Indie Awards grand finale on November 21st 2017 in Shenzen, China. The awards are a chance for all independent mobile developers and small studios – including those who have pitched at a previous event and those who haven’t had the chance – to put their game forward for a chance of global recognition. With a prize fund worth over $25,000 and a paid trip to the awards ceremony itself, this is one competition that no indie dev can afford to miss out on.

All indie developers that have a mobile game project either in the works or released this year are welcome.

How does it work?

Developers are invited to submit their game by October 6 2017, at http://www.bigindieawards.com

After creating a longlist, a panel of expert judges including journalists, influencers and developers will rate each game to create a shortlist that will be announced to the world. The top three teams will then get the chance to spend a couple of days meeting Chinese companies and exploring the beautiful coastal city of Shenzhen, with all flights and accommodation paid. The competition builds to a climax with teams presenting their games on stage at a live awards ceremony in Shenzhen on November 21, when the final winners will be revealed!

Who can enter?

Any mobile indie developer who has a game released in 2017 or has one in production that’s scheduled to launch in the next six months can enter the competition.

All previously shortlisted Big Indie Pitch entrants since September 2016 will be fast-tracked onto the longlist.

What can you win?

There’s an array of prizes worth over $25,000 up for grabs, including $15,000 of marketing promotional spend on Steel Media’s many websites; tickets and expo tables at a Pocket Gamer Connects event worth $5,000; and $5,000 cash. Oh, and of course, paid trips to China including flight, accommodation and visa for at least the top three teams. Naturally, there’ll also be a fair amount of media coverage, an award trophy, and global adoration.

Who’s behind all this?

The Big Indie Awards 2017 are the latest grand plan from the Steel Media team (the firm behind Pocket Gamer, PG.Biz, PG Connects, the Global Connects Parties and of course the Big Indie Pitch itself), but it wouldn’t be possible without the support and love of the folks at indieSky.

Who is indieSky?

indieSky is iDreamSky’s indie platform for indie developers. iDreamSky has published hit titles such as Monument Valley, Subway Surfers, Temple Run series, Toy Blast, Horizon Chase, Gardenscapes and many others in China. indieSky’s aim is to partner with indie developers from all around the world to bring awesome games to gamers – the company slogan is, “We Publish Awesome Indie Games!” You can find out a lot more about at http://indie.idreamsky.com/

How to enter!

Think your game could win? Head to http://www.bigindieawards.com/ and a gameplay video so we can take a look. You’ll be notified if you’ve made the list. Terms and conditions apply, details on the website. Entries must be mobile games. Teams that enter will need at least one member with a valid passport who could travel to China on November 18–22, 2017.

Train2Game News Return of the SNES Classic Edition


Due to incredible demand for the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, Nintendo plans to ship the retro-inspired product into 2018. 

Originally, shipments were announced to cease at the end of this calendar year.

In addition, more units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its Sept. 29 launch day in the U.S. than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves.

The Super NES Classic Edition system features 21 legendary Super NES games such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid. Launching on Sept. 29 at a suggested retail price of only $79.99, Super NES Classic Edition plugs directly into the TV using the provided HDMI cable, and comes with two wired controllers. For more information about Super NES Classic Edition, visit http://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic

Next summer, Nintendo will also bring back the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system with new shipments. More information about the timing of the return of NES Classic Edition will be announced in the future.

NES Classic Edition features 30 classic NES games such as the original Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. For more information about NES Classic Edition, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic/ .

Train2Game Golden Joystick Awards 2017


The Golden Joystick Awards are back! Marking 35 years of celebrating everything we love about the world’s most dynamic creative industry. 

This year’s event will take place at a new venue, London’s Bloomsbury Big Top, on November 17 and will be hosted by comedian and former host, Danny Wallace. 

The Golden Joysticks will once again feature over 25 award categories voted for by the great global gaming public, including ‘Best Multiplayer Game’, ‘Game of the Year’ and ‘Most Wanted Game’ as well as new awards for 2017. Dubbed the ‘People’s Gaming Awards’, last year’s Golden Joystick Awards received a record 9 million global votes.

“I’m delighted to return to host the legendary Golden Joysticks, and to find out what the gamers themselves think are deserving of the industry’s most undeniably golden awards.” Danny Wallace returns to host the 2017 Golden Joystick Awards.

Key dates to watch out for:

    -The Golden Joystick Award Categories and Shortlist will be announced on September 21, with public voting commencing that night.

    -The public vote will close on November 3.

    -The Awards will take place on November 17, at the Bloomsbury Big Top, with the whole event being live streamed on Twitch.
“For 35 years the Golden Joystick Awards have been celebrating the very best of video games. Whether they’re highlighting the brilliance of the games themselves, the creatives who make them, or the communities and personalities who play them, the Golden Joysticks have always been a wonderful reminder of the passion and excellence inherent in our industry. Being the largest publicly voted gaming awards in the world, the Golden Joysticks enable the ever-increasing and diversifying communities of players to connect with and celebrate the games they truly love… and that’s why they’re stronger than ever after 35 years.” Dan Dawkins, Global Editor-In-Chief, GamesRadar+.

To stay up to date with news from the Golden Joysticks follow us on Twitter or Facebook

Train2Game News The Minds Behind the Games Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers


Who wrote “Romeo & Juliet? Who first sang “Thriller”? Who played Captain America in the last Avengers flick? All of these questions are basic pop culture knowledge that everyone, regardless of their geekdom, knows. But who are the minds behind some of the most influential video games of all-time? Don’t know, right? Don’t use Google, either!

But here’s the bigger question: Why aren’t their names enshrined in our memories, too? Why aren’t these men and women’s names just as synonymous in pop culture lore as those in music, film and literature?
“The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers” is the first video game book of its kind to get access to some of the most iconic and unique video game developers from the past 40 years, from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 4 and even failed consoles the likes of the Ouya and NEMO. 

Didn’t know those consoles existed? It’s just another reason to read this behind the scenes look at the industry, which also features all-new exclusive interviews with everyone from Yars’ Revenge creator Howard Scott Warshaw to NBA Jam mastermind Mark Turmell and Mortal Combat co-creator John Tobias. 

Written by award-winning journalist and educator Patrick Hickey Jr., the book contains profiles of 36 of the coolest video games ever created. 

“We know so much about video games, but we know so little about the amazing people that made them,” Hickey said. “That was the main reason I decided to write this book. Imagine 36 episodes of VH1’s Behind the Music. That’s what this book is- an unaltered, behind-the-scenes look at some of the coolest, infamous and unique games ever made.”

Seeing a problem that desperately needed to fixed, Hickey reached out to some of the most iconic video game developers David Crane (Pitfall), Garry Kitchen (Donkey Kong) and Rob Fulop (Night Trap, Missile Command) and many more- the end result was a passion project that would finally give the greatest minds in video games their due.

“We all carry such fond nostalgia for the things that delighted us in our younger years,” Fulop said. “This lack of portability to the future is not true with the written work, with a song, a television show, or a movie. One can read Tom Sawyer as a kid, and your kid can read the exact same book. Or see the Wizard of Oz, my daughter is just as frightened by the Wicked Witch of the West as I was 50 years ago. I Love Lucy is just as funny as when my parents enjoyed it 50 plus years ago. And my daughter can still enjoy all of these things in their original form.  Yet she can’t play Dogz. At least not without a serious amount of effort on my part. And that’s just sort of sad, the fact that interactive entertainment is linked to a specific technology, which is always obsoleting itself, remains an often overlooked black mark in the development of the entire genre of interactive games.”

However, while classic developers have their say in the book, developers from the modern era were thrilled to be a part of the project as well.

“It’s great to be part of a book that taps into such a varied history of gaming. Some of these games have been a direct influence on me and can be used to map my years growing up in life.” -Mike Skupa, Developer Bully, Sleeping Dogs

Additional Praise for ‘The Minds Behind the Games’:

“Fantastic. One-part serious journalism and another part a love letter to the gaming industry.”-Anthony Frisina, Author, The Regulator

“This book will make your inner gamer do the time 8-32-bit warp again and again.”-Chris Butera, Editor-In-Chief, Bonesaw Online Magazine, former WWE.com writer

“NHLPA 93 was the first game I owned for the Sega Genesis and I played it nonstop for a month. I truly believe my favorite player as a kid was Jeremy Roenick simply because of this game. Patrick does a terrific job encapsulating the history, emotion and drama of the early days of this series.” –Arda Ocal, MSG Networks

“From arcade rats to indie developers, Hickey gives an intimate look at the personalities behind gaming with the passion of a fanboy and the attention of a scholar.” – Cesar R. Bustamante Jr., Digital Producer and Book Reviewer, New York Daily News

I love the WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game chapter, which perfectly captures the aura surrounding that title — its development and release during such a transitionary phase for Wrestling — and how it smartly serves as a fun and exemplary reminder of the game’s uniqueness in being a fighting game at heart, hybridized … and stylized with mystical, whimsical gimmick-specific elements effectively creating a “game for everyone,” during a time when that was an impossible task.- Extreme Championship Wrestling Legend Joel Gertner

“The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers” is currently scheduled for a late 2017/early 2018 release. 

Train2Game News Student front page news


Train2Game student Darroch McNaught has been featured on the front cover of The Inverness Courier.
Darroch McNaught is Chief Creative Officer at Deuxality, an Inverness based app development company. The company has currently been working on AR Technology uses.

These technologies are what caught the eye of The Inverness Courier. The article discusses Darroch and Deuxality’s plans to use AR Technology to aid tourists visiting the city. The app will give information in art galleries on artists and paintings for example.

We here at Train2Game would like to wish Darroch and Deuxality a massive congratulations. 

Train2Game News Keystone Kids Charity

Keystone Games are proud to announce that stars of stage, screen and some of the world’s top selling video game authors have come together in the “Keystone Kids” campaign! 
Keystone has been formed with massive industry support to raise money for children with life limiting illnesses. A whole host of companies including Unity3D and Microsoft and major websites such as Pulse Entertainment are helping us with the effort! The Keystone Kids Campaign is set to become one of the largest fundraising efforts ever seen in the games industry!

That money will be raised through Keystone’s unique development and publishing operation. Keystone are developing a range of internal titles, led by 5 times Programmer of The Year award winner Jane Whittaker and a whole raft of award winning industry programmers and artists. All Keystone titles directly benefit the charity with sales.

Actors of stage and screen, such as Warwick Davis and his daughter Annabelle Davis, along with a soon to be announced group of major celebrities have also joined Keystone in a long term relationship to help the kids! Funds raised are donated to Over The Wall (the subsidiary of the Serious Fun charity founded by Paul Newman and supported by the Hollywood A list)

How do you help Keystone help the kids?

We would love you to follow us on twitter at @Keystone_Games and promote our cause for the kids. The more publicity we get in the industry, the better served we are to raise much needed funds for the children who really need it

Please support our special charity hashtag #KeystoneKids to get the message out

If you are a developer looking for a publisher, come and talk to us about publishing your title. We have massive worldwide distribution both on digital platforms and boxed with marketing to match any other publisher in the business! Thanks to the support of a wide range of industry partners. We offer you industry leading royalty rates and AAA quality marketing. You keep your royalties and our share is used to help the kids! We already have a number of major partnerships with studios, with everyone from single man indie studios to major AAA developers, joining us in building Keystone Publishing!

If you see a gaming website that isn’t talking about Keystone Games and this massive charity effort, please encourage them to talk to us and give us coverage!

Please do whatever you can to help us help the kids!

Train2Game News Injustice 2 Everything You Need to Know Trailer

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have unveiled a new Everything You Need to Know trailer showcasing every element of the Injustice 2 game. 
The video gives players a closer look at the game’s Story Mode and the variety of Super Hero and Super-Villain alliances at play, including factions led by the Dark Knight, Gorilla Grodd, and others, along with wild card characters like Supergirl and Swamp Thing.
To view the Official Injustice 2 – Everything You Need to Know trailer, please click here: https://youtu.be/nVbPeX_ZlUk.
Players will also get an introduction to the brand new social experience that Injustice 2 is bringing to the fighting game scene. In the game, players will be able to form a guild with up to 50 other players to share gear and build their own team of Super Heroes. They’ll also earn gear and other rewards that are exclusive to guild gameplay in daily and weekly cooperative objectives as they collaborate with friends to climb the worldwide leaderboards.

This comprehensive overview has everything players need to prepare for the launch of Injustice 2 on the 19th of May– from an in-depth look at the new Gear System, to a sneak peek at Multiverse mode and even the Injustice 2  mobile experience, out on the 11th May.

In development by the award-winning NetherRealm Studios, Injustice 2 features a massive roster of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains and allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favourite DC characters. The game will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the UK on the 19th of May 2017.

For more information about Injustice 2, please visit www.injustice.com

Train2Game News Prey now available


Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced Prey®, the first-person sci-fi action game from Arkane® Studios, is now available worldwide for the Xbox One, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and PC.

The alien forces have escaped containment, so step into your TranStar uniform, board Talos I, and prepare to fight the invasion.

“Prey is set in an immersive world that layers in shooter and RPG elements. Players can craft their own playstyle based on gameplay choices, while incorporating alien abilities and unique skills,” said Creative Director Raphael Colantonio. “We’re excited to show off the sci-fi world of Prey to players worldwide.”

When you awaken aboard the Talos I space station, you find that you are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. Talos I has been overrun by an alien force that’s now hunting down any surviving crew members, including you. As mankind’s last hope, fend off the alien infestation armed with the tools found on the station, your wits, weapons, and mind-bending abilities. You must stop the Typhon threat from destroying humanity – should these creatures reach Earth, life as you know it will end. It’s up to you to uncover the mysteries of Talos I and safeguard the world from the Typhon threat.

Prey is the latest game from Arkane Studios, the creators of the award-winning Dishonored series which includes the 2012 ‘Game of the Year’ and the critically-acclaimed follow-up, Dishonored 2. Embracing its signature style, Arkane developed Prey as an “open space station game,” complete with the studio’s characteristic freedom, player choice and deep story.

For more information about the game visit: prey.bethesda.net.

Train2Game News Jagex Charitable Giving

​Jagex, the creators of RuneScape, today announced a partnership with three key charities to support mental health awareness, with a focus on affecting change for young people, as part of a two-year fundraising programme.

Jagex will link up with CPSL Mind, The Prince’s Trust, and YMCA Right Here on a local, national, and international level and has a target of raising £150,000 in 2017 to support their programmes. The games developer and publisher has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes in recent years, including over £100,000 for SpecialEffect in 2016.
The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index report, released at the start of the year, revealed that young people’s happiness and confidence are at their lowest levels since the organisation launched its study eight years ago. Over a third – 37 percent – of young people aged 16-25 admitted to feeling stressed about coping with work and school, while NEET young people (those not in employment, education or training) are more likely to feel worried about their circumstances and their future. These burdens impact the mental health of young people and increase their chances of not fulfilling their potential.
Throughout 2017, Jagex will host a series of in-game and real-world events to support the charities and promote mental health awareness. During Mental Health Awareness Week (8th-14th May), RuneScape will run a two-week long charity-specific in-game event – Gielinorian Giving – in which any currency purchased by players will be donated to the causes; in return players will receive exclusive rewards, such as an amour set and in-game pet.
Jagex will also participate in several key initiatives driven by the charities, including The Prince’s Trust career introduction programme, Get Started in Games Design, which will see young people participate in game design workshops hosted by Jagex in addition to a company game jam during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Additionally, the company will become one of the first commercial companies to join the likes of the local police service, some local NHS services, and Cambridgeshire County Council to sign a pledge supporting CPSL Mind’s ‘STOP Suicide’ campaign in Jagex’s home city. Working with YMCA Right Here, Jagex will support the organisation’s ‘Find, Get, Give’ initiative.

The programme will help young people aged 13-25 years old to find and receive support, and then give feedback around the mental health services they’ve accessed. Jagex will be assisting YMCA Right Here in the development of a mental health support networking app.
Phil Mansell, COO and Acting CEO of Jagex, said, “Our passionate and generous RuneScape community has helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for some incredible causes over the last few years. By focusing on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people through partnering with these three charities, we hope they will once again come together and help people receive the backing they need to cope with the turbulence of the world today.”
Ben Marson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said: “Here at The Prince’s Trust, we’ve recently seen an increase in the need for mental health support amongst the young people coming to us for help, so the focus of this partnership with Jagex couldn’t be more timely. By hosting Get Started in Games Design with Jagex, we can develop young people’s confidence and skills to improve their wellbeing and help them get a job.”

Cat Dyson, YMCA Right Here Project Manager, said, “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Jagex as part of their charitable strategy. YMCA DownsLink Group is focused on supporting young people to belong, contribute and thrive. The YMCA Right Here Project champions this approach by working closely with young people; empowering them to influence mental health work, educate others around health and wellbeing and campaign for change.   We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that this partnership presents, both for the YMCA and young people across the country.”

Aly Anderson, Interim CEO of CPSL Mind said: “We are delighted that Jagex has chosen CPSL Mind – and the STOP Suicide Campaign in particular – as one of their three charities to support this year.  Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 and the female suicide rate in England is at its highest since 2005.  However, most suicides are preventable and we are very much looking forward to working with Jagex to train more local people in suicide prevention, to raise awareness of potential suicide warning signs and to encourage everyone to talk more openly about this important subject.”

Further information on the three charities and the Jagex Charitable Giving initiative can be found at https://www.jagex.com/charitable-giving .