Train2Game News Games Dev Tool Crayta

Independent video game studio Unit 2 Games today revealed its mass-market collaborative game creation and publishing platform – Crayta.

It also issued a call for people interested in making games to join its pre-alpha community programme.

Harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 4, Crayta will provide an intuitive, flexible and accessible suite of creative development tools, with an appropriate entry point for people of all ages, experience, ability and background. The UGC-powered, ‘free-to-play’, social creation platform will also be underpinned by a comprehensive publishing and discovery infrastructure that encourages and rewards creativity, community support, and collaboration.

CEO of Unit 2 Games, Richard Smithies, explains the vision for the project: “Games creation requires people to have a variety of highly technical skills. They have to understand and be able to use the available software, know how to publish and support their game once it’s out, and be able to promote their creations and find a fan base. The current landscape largely offers these elements individually, but with Crayta we’re combining them all into one free-to-access, streamlined ecosystem. Our dream is to make game-making accessible and fun for everyone.”

Unit 2 Games was formed in late 2017 and has been working behind closed doors on the ambitious project for the last year. Its team includes over 30 highly experienced developers and live operations staff, many of whom have worked together for over a decade and played a key role in a previous 4-year server-based, UGC-driven project that had a budget in the tens of millions of dollars.

Development on Crayta has already progressed considerably, and a small group of players from around the world has been collaborating with the Unit 2 Games team for several months. The studio is now actively looking to expand that team by launching its pre-alpha community programme. Anyone interested should apply via www.Crayta.com.

Crayta will be shown behind closed doors at EGX in Birmingham, UK next week and the team is available for trade and consumer media appointments.

More information and latest news about the project can be found here:

Medium: https://medium.com/unit2games/what-if-everyone-could-make-video-games-430c2aeb1768
Twitter: @Unit2Games
Web: www.Unit2Games.com & www.Crayta.com

Train2Game News The Last Remnant Remastered

SQUARE ENIX® announced that THE LAST REMNANT™ Remastered will arrive on PlayStation® for the first time this December, now fully remastered for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered Teaser Trailer is available here: https://youtu.be/qGY6PMg1ZRE.

Originally released in 2008, THE LAST REMNANT captured the hearts and minds of gamers with its enthralling story, countless characters and intricate battle system. THE LAST REMNANT Remastered features beautifully enhanced graphics enabled by Unreal®Engine 4, allowing for a more immersive and captivating adventure than ever before.

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered tells the story of a world filled with “Remnants” — ancient artefacts that grant mysterious power to their wielders, changing the world’s balance and leading to an era of countless frays between those who ruled, and those who obeyed. Within this war-torn fantasy world, players will follow the journey of a young man who is determined to uncover the truth.

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered will be available digitally via the PlayStation®Network for $19.99. This title is rated M (Mature).

Train2Game News Games festival at Leamington Spa

The UK is set to welcome a brand new games festival as Interactive Futures announces its inaugural event in early 2019.

The event will be held in Leamington Spa, one of the UK’s largest games clusters outside of London, and will offer a range of sessions and opportunities across 3 days for games professionals, content creators and curators, game players and families.

Interactive Futures will bring together the creative and games communities to showcase the latest developments and opportunities, uncover career and industry insights and reveal new releases with a whole bundle of fun on the side. The event will celebrate the heritage and success of Leamington Spa’s games community, whilst also providing a platform for all UK based games professionals to gain industry insights, network and collaborate.

Known in the industry as “Silicon Spa”, the cluster employs over 2500 highly skilled individuals and equates to over 10% of the total UK games development workforce. The town has a history of over 30 years in the sector with local talent including key names such as Codemasters, SEGA and Ubisoft.

Among the first speakers to be announced is Dr Jo Twist, CEO of UKIE (Association for UK Interactive Entertainment), who will opening the conference on Friday 1 February, and Jordan Webber, who will be acting as Conference Chair throughout the event. A games journalist, often found in The Guardian or talking about games on The Gadget Show, Jordan is hugely passionate about both games and her adopted hometown of Leamington Spa.

“I spend a good deal of my time convincing people to come to Leamington, so this event is the perfect way to get lots of my friends, colleagues, and other people from the video game community to visit the best town in the world.”

Sessions across the event will focus on a range of key topics including accessibility, influencer marketing, project post mortems, diversification in talent, breaking into the industry, staying safe online and upcoming new releases. With influencer marketing a current hot topic, we’ll be discussing how companies can use this to their advantage in promoting their releases. Friday’s influencer session will see Rich Keith, Managing Director of influencer management company, Fourth Floor Creative, and James Day, Head of Social Media at Jagex, discuss their top tips for engaging influencers and how the marketing landscape is changing.

Another key topic at the event will be accessibility in games. Joining the panel discussions will be Playstation’s accessibility specialist, Mark Friend alongside Barrie Ellis from games accessibility charity, Special Effect, accessible games designer at Midoki, Lynsey Graham and specialist accessibility consultant, Ian Hamilton.

For those looking to start their career in the industry there will be a range of experts available to help you on your way. Nick Duncombe, Resource Manager at Playground Games, the team behind the Forza Horizon series, will be discussing routes into the industry alongside the likes of DJ Hero co-creator, Alex Darby, and e-sports presenter and influencer Elle Osili-Woods. If you fancy yourself as a games journalist or the next big influencer, then sessions with freelance journalist Alysia Judge and CMO of influencer platform, Matchmade, Heini Vesander, will be sure to help attendees get started.

The event is also backed by Warwickshire County Council, Warwick District Council and Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, who remain incredibly proud of Leamington Spa’s standing within the UK games industry.

Nick Harper, from Exient Studios, commented, “Our Silicon Spa businesses are key to the thriving games market in the UK and display the wealth of talent that lies across the country in this sector. Interactive Futures is the perfect way for us to celebrate this talent and success and will allow us to welcome those from outside the area to see what we have to offer.”

As well as the conference programme visitors to Interactive Futures can immerse themselves in the Talent Expo, featuring a range of companies showcasing new releases and opportunities throughout the event, as well as a range of soon to be announced Fringe events around the town.

Interactive Futures will take place at the Royal Spa Centre on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February and will be preceded by an academic conference for colleges and universities on Thursday 31st January.

Tickets for the event are on sale now from www.interactive-futures.com with Friday 1 February providing an industry specific focus and Saturday 2 February open to all families, students and active gamers. You can also follow the event on social media @int_futures on Twitter and @interactive_futures on Instagram.

Train2Game News Atari 2600 returns for Christmas

One of the most iconic video games consoles, the Atari 2600 is returning as a handheld console and innovative plug and play TV joystick in time for Christmas 2018.

The ‘Atari “Retro” Handheld‘ features the immortalised “wood” effect and includes 50 classic games built-in, including: Asteroids®, Pong®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Breakout®, Millipede® and more.

In addition to featuring a 2.4″ screen, it also includes A/V output (with HDMI adapter available) and super responsive buttons with a stylish analogue control stick.

The ‘Atari “Retro” Plug and Play TV Joystick‘ features a progressive design, with the inclusion of an arcade style button on top of the controller and will connect to your TV with the included A/V cable (or HDMI with an available adapter). It will feature the same 50 built-in games as the handheld.

Pre-orders from FunstockRetro.co.uk will also receive an exclusive limited edition Centipede coin:

The range is officially licensed by Atari and is being developed by PQube, the leading distributor of retro gaming hardware in Europe.

The range was originally announced in 2017 however, development has seen the product range move to October 19th 2018. A lot of care and attention has been put into remaining faithful to the Atari brand and the outcome will be worth the wait. The new images in this announcement are photos of the latest samples, ahead of final production and give the first glimpse of the final design.

CEO of PQube, David Pain quoted:
“We are delighted to be working with Atari on this amazing project. Having sold over a million retro gaming consoles, we have taken the extensive feedback from press, retail and the consumer to develop new range of hardware that is faithful to the Atari brand”

CEO of Atari, Frederik Chesnais quoted:
“We are thrilled to partner with PQube on the compact handheld and Plug and Play TV Joystick,” said Fred Chresnais, Chief Executive Officer, Atari. “Both products are packed with nostalgic and fun-filled games that will give our fans the opportunity to relive the golden age of videogames wherever they go.”

The “Atari ‘Retro’ Handheld console” will retail for just £34.99 and the “Atari ‘Retro’ TV Plug and Play Joystick” at just £24.99. It is available to pre-order now at Europe’s Number One Retro Gaming Destination, FunstockRetro.co.uk

Train2Game News Insomnia63 Details

GAME Esports and Events is excited to announce further details of Insomnia63, the UK’s biggest gaming festival, as it returns to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

The four-day gaming extravaganza kicks off from 10:00 a.m. on Friday 24th August 2018.
Attendees will be able to get their hands-on the biggest upcoming titles from major publishers as well as the most exciting new indie titles. Ubisoft’s line-up includes the UK debuts of Assassins Creed Odyssey, The Division 2, StarLink and Just Dance 19.

Insomnia63 will also be hosting the UK qualifiers of the Just Dance 19 World Cup – each day of the show, fans of the franchise can head to the Ubisoft stand to take on the Just Dance challenge and get the highest score. At the end of the day the highest scorer will be invited to compete at the qualifier final on the Main Stage on Monday. The winner will not only be crowned Just Dance 19 UK Champion, but will have won a spot to represent the UK at the World Cup finals taking place in Brazil.

This year PlayStation® will be offering players the chance to get hands on with such eagerly anticipated PS4™ exclusives as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Concrete Genie, Days Gone and the latest PlayStation™VR titles, Firewall: Zero Hour and Beat Saber. Also available to play on the stand will are FIFA19 and Fortnite with attendees having the chance to win prizes across the weekend.

For the Nintendo fans among attendees, the Japanese publisher will have Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros Ultimate as well as many more titles playable throughout the show.

The festivals interactive zones celebrate all elements of gaming culture from VR to retro, cosplay to table-top gaming, there is something for the whole family at Insomnia63.

Youtube sensation Alfies Dayes of the wildly popular ‘PointlessBlog’ with headline this year’s all-star special guest line-up, making his Insomnia debut. Youtubers WillNE and JMX will also be in attendance along with as well as dozens of favourites including the likes of Syndicate, Ashens, ImAllexx, FazeKay, Yammy making Insomnia63 the most star-studded show to date.

In addition to the plethora of YouTube and Twitch talent, Insomnia Gaming Festival welcomes WWE’s NXT UK to the event for the first time ever. Showing off the best of the UK and Ireland’s wrestling scene, superstars including WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven plus many more favourites will be lighting up the ropes.

Outside the wrestling ring, competition will be heating up on across a number of esports tournaments in Insomnia’s famous LAN hall including CS:GO UK Masters with a £30,000 prize pool. Insomnia63 will also play host to Rocket League’s Game Fuel League European Finale, courtesy of Mountain Dew, where aspiring teams will have the opportunity to meet and compete with against esports mega-star Splyce. The show also boasts the Flightball World Championships, where attendees can sign-up to compete in this spectacular aerial football contest.

Insomnia63 is set to be the biggest summer show ever this Bank Holiday weekend. Doors open on Friday 24th August at 10:00 a.m.

For more information including full line-up of guests and games, please visit: https://insomniagamingfestival.com

Train2Game News Ocarina of Time goes Metal

Materia Collective is thrilled to release The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) by arranger Ro Panuganti.

Ro Panuganti is an avid fan of videogames, rock and metal, and computers. Alongside experience in IT Development, he’s worked on home-recording of various videogame, movie, and even original tracks from an array of rock and metal styles.

This creative metal album remixes each of the iconic temple themes from this beloved classic in explosive metal fashion, incorporating ambiance and sound design to tell the game’s story over the course of the album. The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) is available today:

The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) on Bandcamp
The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) on iTunes
The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) on Spotify

“The Temples is a culmination of learning new production skills, exploring wholly new areas of guitar playing, and above all, story-telling,” notes arranger Ro Panuganti. “Just like its inspired work, The Temples sets out to be a story of bravery over adversity, inviting new worlds and influences to the core music, and hopefully inspires any listener to pick up their instrument.”

The track list for The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) is as follows:

01. In Time
02. In Forest
03. In Fire
04. Ice Interlude
05. In Shadow
06. In Spirit
07. In Evil
08. In Courage

Learn more about the The Temples (Music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time):
https://www.materiacollective.com/music/the-temples-music-from-the-legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time

Train2Game News Esports Academy Workshop

EOB Esports Academy, the UK’s first esports academy for anyone between the ages of 7 to 30 looking to understand the business of esports, is proud to announce a partnership with Riot Games for their first tournament at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London.

EOB Esports Academy aims to help guide new talent by offering opportunities to learn everything from esports team creation, event management through to game design and 3D modelling.

The team have partnered with Riot Games for their first tournament which will see 13 budding esports professionals take part in this one-of-a-kind course, funded by the Prince’s Trust. Over the last four weeks League of Legends players have been developing the skills needed to manage a successful team, understand the challenges and the roles of an esports player, and most importantly, understand how to work as a team.

The students have been involved in a series of masterclasses and workshops with esports players and industry professionals and will now come face to face in the final day of their course where their plans are put into action with their first tournament at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London on 19th August.

EOB Esports Academy’s creator Steven Godwin says, “Riot Games have been a big inspiration for starting the EOB Esports Academy, I could see how young people could become stronger individuals by playing League of Legends. The guys at Riot Games have been very supportive and through a chance meeting with Mo Fadl head of esports, we started making this course a reality.”

Mo Fadl, Head of Esports at Riot Games said: “Riot is committed to furthering the esports ecosystem and providing new talent with an opportunity to learn and grow. We are very excited to help the EOB Esports Academy with their first tournament. Having spoken to the students taking part I can already see myself working for them in the future!”

EOB Esports Academy runs a number of workshops and events throughout the year. If you would like to find out more information please visit: http://wuwomedia.com/

Train2Game News Presale for breakthrough physical character animation tool

DeepMotion, a pioneer in the field of Motion Intelligence, announced today that DeepMotion Neuron, the first tool for completely procedural, physical character animation, has launched for presale.

The breakthrough cloud application trains digital characters to develop physical intelligence using advanced AI, physics, and deep learning. With guidance and practice, digital characters can now achieve adaptive motor control just as humans do, allowing animators and developers to create more lifelike and responsive animations than those possible using traditional methods.

DeepMotion Neuron is a Behavior-as-a-Service platform for developers to upload and train their own 3D characters—choosing from hundreds of interactive motions available via an online library. Neuron will enable content creators to tell more immersive stories by adding responsive actors to games and experiences, and the service will free up time for artists to focus on expressive details by handling large portions of technical animation automatically.

“DeepMotion Neuron is designed to help developers close the gap between reality and digital representation by making high-fidelity, interactive simulation accessible and easy to use,” said Kevin He, CEO of DeepMotion. “By granting characters true motion intelligence we believe we can greatly reduce the ‘uncanny valley’ that has haunted those of us in the entertainment industry for over 50 years.”

The core technology of DeepMotion Neuron is built upon state-of-the-art techniques revealed in a research paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2018 by scientists from DeepMotion and Carnegie Mellon University. The paper applies reinforcement learning to the growing domain of sports simulation, specifically basketball, where real-world human motor intelligence is at its peak. After training and optimization, the researchers’ characters were able to perform interactive ball handling skills in real-time simulation. The same technology used to teach digital actors how to dribble can be applied to any physical movement using Neuron.

In the DeepMotion Neuron prelaunch, developers can register for early access and discounts. Those that back the campaign will get first access to the Neuron cloud service, personalized onboarding, in addition to receiving an exclusive demo package and free training time. Developers and animators can learn more and participate in the campaign at deepmotion.com/neuron_prelaunch.

DeepMotion Neuron’s cloud platform is slated to for release in Q4 of 2018.

Train2Game News EGX Rezzed 2019

Gamer Network, organisers of the UK’s premier games events, is delighted to announce that EGX Rezzed will return to London’s Tobacco Dock on the 4th-6th April 2019.

Now in its eighth year and powered by Virgin Media, EGX Rezzed is the world’s premier indie games event and an essential destination for both creators and consumers. Over 200 individual playable games are expected at 2019’s event, spread over 600 playing positions with PC and console formats represented.

A packed schedule of talks and panel sessions covering a range of topics including exclusive updates on major titles, deep dive insights into specific areas of game development and invaluable career advice from experienced professionals will take place in the event’s numerous theatre spaces.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet their favourite video content creators with Outside Xbox, Eurogamer and Rock Paper Shotgun teams all expected to participate in the event.

The renowned Leftfield Collection will return for 2019 offering a platform to creators whose games sit outside the mainstream the chance to exhibit their projects for free to a passionate audience.

EGX Rezzed 2019 is set to be the biggest in the event’s history with additional space now available within Tobacco Dock, the beautiful listed building in the heart of London which has hosted the event since 2015.

EGX Rezzed is once again partnered with BAFTA with the independent charity set to have a presence on the event’s show floor. The BAFTA Games Awards will take place on Thursday 4th April at a venue set to be revealed later this year.

EGX Rezzed 2019 takes place from the 4th-6th April at Tobacco Dock in London. Tickets will go on sale in the autumn.

Train2Game News Eleven new companies join the UK Games Fund community

The fourth round of companies to be awarded grants from the UK Games Fund has been announced today.

Eleven projects including PC, console and VR games developed by companies based across the UK have been selected and will now receive grants to develop their prototypes and undertake to support fellow developers with knowledge-sharing.

The fourth round of funded projects is the most demographically diverse group of companies since the UK Games Fund launched in 2015; 40% of project development teams are female-led and for the first time no London-based companies have made the final selection.

Competition for this round of funding was particularly tough as applicants seeking funding from the UK Games Fund were encouraged to self-select which route was most appropriate for them with the introduction of the Pitch Development Programme. Companies with past experience of shipping a game, a development team in place and ready to mobilise, a business plan and strategy for sustainability in place and with an already well-defined USP were encouraged to apply via the direct application route to Round 4.

Margot James, Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries said:

“It’s marvellous to see grants awarded to companies that reflect such strength and diversity in the video games sector across the UK.

“The UK Games Fund has a proven track record of supporting innovative early stage games development, and I look forward to seeing these teams realise their creative potential.”

To date, the UK Games Fund has supported over 90 projects, and has a growing community with the increasingly popular Tranzfuser competition currently underway with 18 graduate development teams participating.

Paul Durrant, Managing Director, UK Games Talent and Finance CIC said:
“Our aim is to grow the UK’s early-stage games development ecosystem using a community-led approach and these new grant recipients have all agreed to give back significant time to support other companies through various peer-to-peer activities as part of the Creative Industries Sector Deal. Sharing knowledge and experience in this way adds significant value to the investment.”