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 .

Train2Game News Xenko Games Engine

Game maker and middleware pioneer, Silicon Studio, today releases the Xenko game engine, giving developers more options than ever before in creating projects of all sizes, from mobile games to realistic VR experiences and beyond. Xenko is free for educational use, small studios and individual users, with larger studios paying a nominal monthly fee. To celebrate the launch, Silicon Studio is offering all users access to the engine’s unrestricted Pro plan at no cost and with no registration requirements through July 31, 2017.
“We worked with developers to create a tool that lets them explore their creativity without running into some of the limitations they may find with other game engines,” said Terada Takehiko, CEO of Silicon Studio. “By offering advantages like C# and photorealistic rendering, we’re positioning Xenko as the top choice for creators working in 3D, VR and everything in between.”

Xenko was designed by an international team of developers, for developers. Using the latest version of C#, the open source engine features high-end realistic rendering, multithreading with support for the latest graphic APIs (Vulkan & DirectX 12), nested prefabs, particle effects, a built-in script editor and more.

Compared to the beta version, the commercial release boasts major improvements including VR support – with features such as binaural audio, single pass rendering, multi-sampling anti-aliasing (MSAA), one-click VR setup – scene streaming management, a pipeline rendering editor, and light probes (a first step to global illumination), along with greatly improved stability.

“I’ve been developing with the Xenko engine for over two years now,” said beta user and game developer Filip Dusek, creator of the game Children of the Galaxy. “I’m really pleased with the performance and stability of the engine. The renderer is remarkable – both in terms of use and the visual results.”

Xenko represents a new option for developers that want more flexibility from game engines, and this release is just the first step. Silicon Studio will continue to offer new features and updates, including a much more advanced rendering pipeline editor, a visual scripting system, and more.

To celebrate the launch, Silicon Studio is introducing the Xenko Welcome Campaign, allowing unfettered access to the Pro and Personal plans without registration and at no cost until July 31, 2017. Following the conclusion of the welcome program, users that took advantage of the Pro Plan who wish switch to the Personal Plan can simply register their account and select the Personal option (studio size restrictions apply). For more details, see the campaign page.

Pricing, availability, and welcome campaign

Pricing for Xenko is broken into four tiers:

    Xenko Personal – Free for small studios, personal, and students

    Xenko Pro – Designed for small to medium-sized studios; $75 per month (free until July 31, 2017)

    Xenko Pro Plus – Designed for larger studios; $150 per month

    Xenko Custom – Available to accommodate teams with a variety of special needs, projects, and requirements.  

For full details, see the Xenko license plan page.

A Xenko Education version is free for students and universities for use in non-commercial education uses.

During the Welcome Campaign, registration options for the Xenko Pro Plus plan will only be available to corporate customers upon request. When the campaign ends, the Pro Plus plan will be made available to all users through the Xenko store. For details, please contact Silicon Studio.

Xenko is available for PC, and allows developers to build games for Windows, iOS, Android and Xbox One, with Supporting for other consoles coming soon. Xenko can be downloaded directly through the Xenko website.

Train2Game News Insomnia60 Days Away


The countdown has officially begun. Insomnia60, the UK’s largest gaming festival, which starts this Friday, will see the most star-studded line-up ever grace the stage at the NEC in Birmingham.
For the first time, the festival will also host an orchestral concert – The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will feature a full symphony orchestra performing over 30 years of music from The Legend of Zelda franchise as never before a perfect event for families and fans alike. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses starts at 19:45 on Sunday 16th April.

Tickets for a full day at Insomnia60 are priced at £25 per person, with the full VIP experience priced at £90 + fees, and are available for purchase at https://www.theticketfactory.com/multiplay/online/

For more information on Insomnia60, please visit: https://insomniagamingfestival.com/

Train2Game News Women in Games Ambassador programme 

Women in Games, the not for profit, games industry diversity organisation, today announced the launch of its Ambassador programme, sponsored by Women Techmakers, with 43 individual Ambassadors from across the UK and Europe supporting women and girls in understanding the games industry and the opportunities there are within it.
The Ambassador programme from Women in Games exists to grow the membership of the organisation, to help it increase the reach and scale of its programmes and help it achieve the strategic goal of doubling the number of women in games over 10 years.

Ambassadors are expected to reach out to young women at school, college and university locally in their region to encourage them to consider the games industry as a career. They will also reach out to the local public, regional industry and educational leaders and local government to form partnerships and long term strategic relationships.

Google’s Women Techmakers initiative provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology, implementing global scalable initiatives to support and empower women in the industry.

The first Ambassadors for Women in Games are announced today as Alex Jones, Jade Leamcharaskul, Amelia James, Rhoda Daly, Steph McStea, Leoni Smith, Rory Jackson, Terri Mardel, Alex Grahame, Catherine Wooley, Jessica Curry, Adrienne Law, Amanda Blatch, Amrita Bharij, Amy Parish, Amy Yu, Ashley Riza, Becky Jowsey, Bex Edmondson, Carleigh Morgan, Chella Ramanan, Gareth Johns, Hazel Turnbull, Jess Magnus, Jodie Azhar, Karen Cham, Karen Hedger, Kate Killick, Laurence Bouvard, Liz Mercuri, Lorraine Ansell, Maria Fernandes-Hermida, Martine Spaans, Michael Corinus, Michelle Tilley, Monique Boddington, Nida Ahmad, Nika Droravic, Rachael Gregg-Smyth, Sandra Chau, Sharon Toliani-Sage, Tabitha Huchon and Timea Tabori.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented: “We are delighted to have the support of Google’s Women Techmakers for the launch of our Women in Games Ambassador programme. During our 2016 European Women in Games Conference I ran a workshop to initiate this scheme and the enthusiasm and drive of the individuals who attended was extraordinary. We are extremely excited to see what our Ambassadors will achieve and confident that this initiative will have substantial impact in supporting us with our strategic goals.”

Rupert Whitehead, Developer Relations Programs Lead, UK, Ireland and Netherlands at Google said: “Women Techmakers and Google are proud to support the Women in Games Ambassador programme. This will grow awareness of the amazing variety of opportunities that are available for women in technology in what is a thriving and creative games industry. Seeing women already in these roles sharing their story is a powerful way of achieving this.”

Train2Game News Unity plugin supports EditorVR

VR game development on the Unity platform just received a massive productivity boost. 
Today, KinematicSoup Technologies announced that Scene Fusion now officially supports EditorVR. The announcement was in response to Unity Technologies’ latest update to the platform, released on March 11th, 2017.

Scene Fusion is a Unity plug-in that adds real-time collaboration for level design to the Unity engine, which reduces the amount of time it takes to build and ship a game by up to 33%. With the growing popularity of VR, the decision to support it in Scene Fusion was an easy decision for Justin McMichael, CEO of KinematicSoup.

Unity launched the first publicly available experimental build of EditorVR for Unity, on December 15, 2016. Since this launch, the team at KinematicSoup has made efforts to ensure Scene Fusion builds have supported the continuous development of EditorVR, and plans to continue this trend.

 “Our goal is to provide complete interactivity to game developers so that they can bring games to market sooner and work more efficiently. We see VR as a natural next step to the evolving landscape of game development. The benefits of real-time collaboration have never been greater than they are in VR. Being able to have people in and out of VR interact together on a single scene creates a very fast and efficient workflow that results in faster game development.”

 Justin McMichael, CEO, KinematicSoup

Scene Fusion has been in development since 2015 and has since become popular among many Unity-based game studios.

Interested in learning more about Scene Fusion? Visit https://www.kinematicSoup.com/scene-fusion