Train2Game News Student Studios Secret Project

Appatier’s new top secret project is going well… don’t tell anyone!
Train2Game student studio Appatier is working on yet another paid contract. The team is creating a new mobile game, but they’re not allowed to talk about it.

A Train2Game success story, Appatier is now working on its second major project of 2016. The small and diverse studio staffed by a group of friends is working on a new title.  But the studio can’t give out the details as it has been sworn to secrecy. The project is under NDA but they can say, it’s a mobile game…

According to John Esslemont MD of Appatier the project is going really well. They are working hard, there’s a great Producer onboard who’s giving them excellent leadership and direction. The nameless Producer has kept an eye on the team, helping them to overcome many obstacles.

This is by far the largest project the team has undertaken and they have learnt a great deal. Appatier is working to deadlines and milestones in the project. Overcoming bugs has been a key obstacle as has tinkering with the original code as the design changes.

They did not think they would get the project, it’s a huge step up for them and they are now working with professionals at the top tier of games development. John says the project was easy to staff as he chose friends that have a similar ethic to him.

The team has done some ludicrous hours to deliver what the client wants but learnt a great deal along the way. For John he’s learnt to be prepared and earnt even more respect for Designers. His advice for others is to ‘’work smarter’’ and to make sure you are spending time on the right things.

John Esslemont, Managing Director, Appatier: ‘The project is going really well at the moment three days away from a deadline which I only just realised but we are on track apart from one little bug. There have certainly been times where I think “Ok we have gone and messed up now”. But it has always turned out to be really good in the end. We have Stephen our producer to thank for that, the guy is so down to earth and understands development which from my previous experience is a hard thing to come by.’ 

‘I have learned so much I feel like I have forgotten more. The one thing I have learnt is to design everything before a single line of code gets written. We went ahead and carried on development after we passed a milestone, when we delivered it was not what the client wanted, so crunch time it was, 16 hours days became the norm, all the way through to 36 hour days and nights to make sure we got what they wanted done and we got it done fast. They trusted us to get something done so we made sure we delivered on it.’ 

‘It is actually awesome working with a Producer! He knows about development so it’s really good as he understands the hurdles you go through and little things that crop up. Not only that but when he found out we were working stupid hours he told us to stop and get rest he doesn’t want us getting ill. Now I have never had this before so that too me by surprise. He is so relaxed about stuff, you know when he wants something done by talking to him, Also the guy is like a mind reader he can just tell if you are thinking something or if something is up does it with Edd all the time haha.’ 

‘This is by far the biggest project I have even done, Financially, Professionally, and everything else in-between. When we put in our pitch I truly didn’t think we would get it, I mean we have the skills and experience we were not fazed by anything. But to go from freelancing to working with top tier people in games is a huge level up for all of us.’ 

‘It was easy to choose who to work with. I have worked with Domm for about 3 years, I knew he didn’t like his job and wanted to offer him something better so with us being mates it was a no brainer. I worked with Edd over the last year and his work ethic and attention to detail is insane! Not only that but a UI Artist, Designer, Web Developer, and musician all in one, is a no brainer.’

‘We have hit a fair share of problems while working on the game, infact I’m busy fixing one now. Essentially we wrote a system that would do what we needed it too at the time, but as the design changes we need to go back and change it to accommodate for the new changes.’

‘As for design, well let’s just say I now know what a designer does and I’m not into that! I help a lot with these things but it is so time consuming and you really need to break the idea down to will it work or not, do we think it is good or not, if not why if yes why. It’s all theoretical of course but the amount of work that goes into it I never even knew. So yeah respect to all game designers!’ 

‘Recommends for others, well with design just send a lot more to client and see what is said, have more meetings about things. One thing that the producer did say to us which we are still using right now is “Work Smarter”. If we need to know something and no one is say online or your waiting for a reply just do what you think until they are available. Do not leave it and go work on something else finish your task as best you can until you really cannot do any more on it then move on. Or if you are starting to get code block or your mind is fried take a break and go chill for a bit. A fresh mind is always better than a foggy one.’ 

‘What’s next? Well we need to finish this current deadline so we can move onto our server side stuff and social integrations.’

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

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Train2Game News PlasisGames is back and better than ever

Free online games platform created by Train2Game student updated and now back online.

A platform created by Train2Game student Sean Brady updated and now available for the people of the world to enjoy free-to-play online games. 

Sean from Dublin, Ireland, is delighted to have the platform live again. He’s been working to give the site a new look and remove barriers for player enjoyment.  Games are available in all popular online formats, the new site has been streamlined and many new games have been added. 

The site will continue to be improved with user feedback, also, games will be boosted and removed based on the popularity of the games when on the site. Plasis will work with partners that would like to post games on the site, which can be submitted through the platform.

Plasis game will also continue to develop its own games, including Hut of The Dead, which is inspired by zombie games, films and TV shows, such as The Walking Dead.

Sean Brady, Plasis and Train2Game: ‘The’ portal is back online with more addictive games and endless fun. Flash, HTML5, Unity3d, etc… 

‘Games are continuously being sourced for your never-ending enjoyment. Any obstacles which contributed significant delays to the growth of the portal have been overcome with new games being processed thick and fast to deliver a more varied entertainment mecca. After a considerable amount of years spent playing and crafting the experience of gameplay I know the portal will eventually provide everything desired contemporary fun-seekers.’

‘We are currently in the testing phase of hundreds of games at the moment to confirm they deliver the experience required. The games are sourced from any avenue that is approved by the author or provide free to use. At this time, we have 196 games residing on the portal that have been validated through our strenuous testing suites. They vary across many genres/platforms and use a freeform model of placement to allow a greater variety of fun choices. If any wishes to partner with Plasis Games or to have games included in the portal, please contact us using for further information.’

‘Apart from the publishing of games, the development side of Plasis Games is in full swing and will result in a small indie horror game for World Weaver to continue with Hut of the Dead series. Actually the game is a different take on the hut/house full of the walking dead/dying concept to deliver a more immersive relatable experience. The main delay has involved developing solutions to surpass the technical limitations of the prescribed engine and feature vacant tools. 

Frankly, the development is leaning more towards manual-granular game development trials and tribulations instead of their modern hyper productive counter-parts. In the end the quality delivered shall be the same using either approach leaving an extended development time as the only negative among an arsenal of hard-fought positives for guaranteed delivery of a solid game.’

‘There will be a lot of advancements over the coming year, all to provide more opportunities for players, developers and publishers a like. If anyone wants to view the portal, the web address is www.plasisgamesportal.com and again the contact email is info@plasisgamesportal.com ‘

‘Don’t forget to come along to play some games on the portal and follow us on the channels below as updates are soon to come…’

Twitter (https://twitter.com/PlasisGames)

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PlasisGames/)

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu6VCNG4OATLjY0twFL7lag)

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

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Train2Game Fabble’s Adventure Development Update

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Train2Game student James Mahon updates on Fabble’s Adventure, his progress on the course and plans for the future

James Mahon and team are working on Children’s platformer Fabble’s Adventure, and its progressing nicely. He plans to use his experience making the game to learn more about creating games and as a platform to develop more games in the future.

The development of Fabble’s Adventure is going really well. In the game Fabble and Minx are on a quest to find lost rice grains. It’s a traditional platformer aimed at young players with a cute yet exciting storyline. There are now six worlds for players to explore. Rewards have been introduced and replay-value added.

Current focus is programming and getting levels right, which has taken a great deal of time. The team is finding it a challenge making a game but ultimately very rewarding. At this point James is working with another Train2Game student who has taken up a position of head of QA and they are not looking for any additional help until the game launches.

James is enjoying the course, he sees it as a great chance to learn and socialise with people that have a common goal. He’s now working on portfolio projects having successfully completed course work. In the future wants to continue making similar games that have a positive effect on kids.

Train2Game student James Mahon: ‘We’ve made massive progress on the game’s environments and challenges. It’s a platformer that embraces traditional gameplay in with a cartoon look and feel. There are six different worlds for players to explore. In them, collecting items is a major part of the game flow and finding the hidden objectives are the main goal. When goals are accomplished, the player will set their own personal achievements for them to beat again, allowing for replay-ability and extended gameplay time.’

‘The game story features Fabble and Minx who are on a quest to find the lost rice grains throughout the different worlds in their universe. Their ultimate goal is to defeat Ghosthead, a mutant bug that terrorized the lost rice grains into fleeing their home. There are a variety of monsters, big and small, to defeat and a good range of challenges to overcome on their quest.’

‘The current focus is in programming to make the game’s challenges work as planned. There a numerous obstacles and pitfalls that we have to get functional in order start creating levels. We’re a small team with a big project and it’s very time consuming especially programming so that’s where a large part of the workforce is currently.’

‘The journey so far has been challenging but a lot of fun nonetheless. Taking a concept from paper to a working product is hard work but a rewarding experience. I’ve learned to appreciate game-making much like playing a game. There’s always a personal sense of accomplishment when overcoming a challenge and that’s what motivates me to continue.’

‘I’ve successfully interviewed a candidate who is also a student of Train2Game on the QA game tester course. He’s currently providing much needed support with the programming tasks and has the major role as head of QA throughout development.’

‘The recruitment drive is over for now. We have enough workers to get the project done and on time. There will be a new recruitment drive when the game enters QA in the later stages of development. We’ll be on the lookout for beta testers and even testers that fit within the game’s target audience. The most preferable skill is a working knowledge of programming concepts to be able to break the game and find bugs that could ruin the game experience.’

‘Level design is next on the list for the game, as soon as the game’s challenges are implemented. My studies as a designer will help out with this most important aspect. I want to create simple but fun gameplay with a variety of challenges while embracing the traditional platformer gameplay style.’

‘I’m currently halfway through with my Train2Game portfolio projects after having successfully completed my tutor marked assignments. I enjoy reading through my course work and applying what I’ve learned. Also, being a part of Train2Game’s community seeing as I have somewhere to hang out and socialize with people that have a similar passion. There’s also the much needed support for students from staff to help make our ambitions become a reality.’

‘In the future, I want to start an independent videogame company to specialize in creating mobile and PC games for kids. Fabble’s Adventure is the only game I’m committed to at the moment. I have other games for kids in the concept stage waiting to be created. I want to finish what I’m doing with this game before I take on another project.’

‘It’s still important for me to create games for kids. I wouldn’t want to turn down a good opportunity to create video game products, I believe, they will love. I also believe video games are a great learning tool and that means a lot more for me to create games that have a positive influence on kids.’

https://www.facebook.com/Fabbles-Adventure-937004039692461

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

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Train2Game News The first ever Game Marmalade spread thick with talent

Game Marmalade

Game Marmalade a complete success in its initial year

Game Jam organised by Train2Game students had a spread of talented entries and some great games are coming out of the event.

This year saw the launch of Game Marmalade, the student organised Game Jam for Train2Game students. It was well attended and the games produced impressed event organisers. The next step in the process will be the judging.

The event was a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills. Organisers can’t wait to see the games finished that had such huge potential. There were four teams in total with three games produced for judging. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.

Some unfortunate drop outs meant team members had to adapt to new roles. Three out of four games were completed but the unfinished team are still working to finish its project. The attendees of the Jam are continuing to work on their titles or beginning new projects together.

The event was created and managed by Train2Game forum member Slinks. She was extremely happy with how the event went, especially with the games the students produced and the networking opportunities created.

The next step is the judging process, and then announcement of the winner. There’s potential for another Game Jam in the future but that’s not confirmed at this time.

Train2Game student and Game Marmalade organiser, Slinks: ‘Game Marmalade was an excellent success and from all the positive feedback I’ve had, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt a great deal. It’s been very rewarding organising Game Marmalade and I’ve learned so much about putting an event like this together. Everyone who took part should be really proud of themselves and what they achieved and I’m sure we will see some awesome games being developed in the future.’

‘Before the event I asked my fellow students to send me their suggestions for a theme and received lots of great entries. The suggestions were put into a hat and I picked one out at the start of the event. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.’

‘There are so many awesome things which have come together as a result of Game Marmalade. Two studios have been formed so far who are either continuing to work on the games they entered, or work on future projects.’

‘More students are now in contact with each other, which was the ultimate aim of the event for me. My Teamspeak channel has grown which means we have a greater student to student support network. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know our Tutors, who are all awesome and gave up so much of their own time for the event. But I think the best thing was that everyone really enjoyed it, everyone who took part worked well together and everyone learned so much about game creation.’

‘Most of the teams are continuing to develop their games and are also working on future projects, so the positive energy generated by the event has certainly been good for getting things started and I’m very interested to see where everyone takes things from here.’

‘We had one team drop out and one developer who was unable to make it, but 3 out of the 4 teams managed to enter executable games. The team without a developer still worked really hard on producing all the assets needed for a full game and the artists did a really superb job.’

‘The designer of the team put in a colossal effort trying to learn how to program a game engine, with little previous knowledge and it’s a real shame he didn’t quite make it. However the team are determined to see this project through to the end and hope to put the game together over the next few months.’

‘The next event in the Game Marmalade calendar is the Judging. This will take place on Sunday 12th June in Teamspeak and there will be 5 judges giving us their marks and thoughts on each game. It should be a good evening with much discussion and we’ll find out which teams game has won.’

‘If I did it again, there are a few things I’d do differently to improve the event, but they are small changes which wouldn’t affect how the event ran, as it was pretty much a complete success. As to doing it again, I’m really not sure, my priority right now is working on my portfolio and passing the City and Guilds exam.’

‘There is still plenty of time to play the games and vote for your favourite on the website http://slinkydink68.wix.com/game-marmalade#!entries/zboej The Loonys are currently in the lead but it’s neck and neck with the Psyber Sprites. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Straw Poll and it’s been neck and neck between these 2 from the start, exciting stuff.’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Student Studio lands lucrative contract

LDP OnlineAppatier Limited has begun a project for a training provider; creating a Pizzeria to teach employees about ‘Kaizan’

John Esslemont and his team are designing a game for online training provider LDP-Online as part of a paid contract. The art of Japanese organisation is combining with the modern phenomenon of videogames (and pizza), as Appatier Limited design an app to teach employees about management. John also used the opportunity to say he supports Train2Game and the work it does for students.

The team is currently working on a pizza game that teaches people about ‘Kaizan’ which is Japanese for organisation. The educational game lets people learn about management and perfect running a team. It sounds simple but designing a game where multiple actions have to time together to the second, has been a challenge. It’s the first game of its kind that John is aware of, but he expects lots more in the future.

John has had a good experience with Train2Game and loves the staff; he learnt lots about games development and self-motivation. Says some students don’t get the most out of Train2Game and they are to blame for not applying themselves. That many students have gone on to setup indie studios and work at AAA Developers. Extremely appreciative of the staff at Train2Game and grateful to them for getting him where he is today.

John is using all his own project management skills to get the job done, and working with his team on the project. The job came through his Train2Game network of contacts. His advice to other students looking to get professional contracts is get out there and ‘work your butt off.’

John Esslemont, Director, Appatier Limited: ‘The experience was good with Train2Game and the staff that work for them are amazing! With Train2Game I learnt a lot of aspects of game development through the course and other students along with a load of self-study which is essential to learning in any field.’

‘I see some people feeling disgruntled with Train2Game that they haven’t learnt anything or haven’t progressed and feel the need to blame Train2Game. That is complete rubbish, I know a tonne of students who are now into AAA games, or indie games studios, it all takes self-discipline to get anywhere in this field. Sorry just felt like I needed to get that in there.’

‘Without train2Game and I sincerely mean this, I doubt I would be where I am, the staff there I have got to know over the past couple years have been amazing with me, especially Harry & Eric, those guys are the boyo’s.’

‘Right now we are working on a restaurant style game that is designed to help people learn Kaizan, which is a Japanese term for organisation essentially. The client is LDP-Online. It will but will be available via LDP-Online and the App Stores. We hope this will be the first of many projects.’

‘The point of the game is for you to think like a manager, you must position your staff and give them jobs to complete. The app will be used for training purposes on the Kaizan principle.

‘If your staff do a terrible job that is of course down to you, and you must learn how to adapt to this fast to get your staff in a rhythm, which will in turn generate you more profit and help you complete the game. It is in terms of thought a small game, turns out all the inner workings like timings, staff jobs, etc are a little more complicated than we first thought.’

‘The job came through a contact of Train2Game, part of the training providers network. As a student they were aware of me and then I got put forward for the job, and was lucky enough to get it. I haven’t seen very many of games like this, mostly because I haven’t searched for them, but I 100% believe that this sort of thing will grow exponentially in the training markets.’

‘The biggest thing I feel that is helping me personally is my ability to manage a team and understand the whole process while being involved in every aspect of the game’s design and development. I am a programmer, but also project manager along with the director so I have to organise everything and make sure everyone is working to deadlines and plans, if they are not that needs to be changed or adapted to the current situation.’

‘I’ve not worked on anything like this at all, in fact it was our first 2D game so we had to learn a lot of the basics and setups to get this right. Once you feel comfortable making games you tend to throw yourself into it really. It has gone really good up to now, some hiccups but nothing serious which is always good.’

‘The timings and how everything is structured has been difficult, the game is designed in such a way that the timings need to be near perfect for it to work. For example is a guy is walking from point A to point B but he needs to take 7 seconds to arrive there, we then need to dynamically change his speed so that it only takes him 7 seconds to get there. Simple math but lots of things like this piling up and all intertwining can become a bit of a brain dead moment.’

‘My advice for other students looking for their first paying client: Put yourself out there; go to the Unity forums, Unreal forums, UpWork and more. Honestly apply for everything within your skill set or what you think you can do. Do not ever be put off by someone asking for something you don’t know what to do right now as that is part of learning. So if you see a job you like the look off and have say a basic understanding of what needs to be done and how you would roughly do it, then go for it!’

‘Once you have your client, work your butt off for them, but also remember to not let them think they own you, define what your work will involve and work to what you both agreed. If they want changes, that is fine, if they want more features or something similar charge them for your time!’

‘I learnt that the hard way!’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Soldier uses experience for games career

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Soldier will use his military experience as he embarks on career in gaming

Former soldier and Train2Game student now focusing on a career in gaming, plans to use military experience as inspiration for making games

Train2Game student and former soldier, Daniel Smith (Smudge) has left the army to embark full time on his games making journey. He plans to use his unique insight into warfare to develop military strategy and RPG games.

The course is going very well for Dan. Train2Game has been very understanding, when he embarked on the course he was still serving. It was tough to balance getting through the course alongside the requirements of military training for the 28 year old.

Dan gained extensive experience and training in the army, he had many roles including; Sapper, Medic, Combat Engineer and Searcher. Dan served in Afghanistan 2011. Dan enjoyed the travel, camaraderie and the accomplishments during his time serving.

He’s since left the army to pursue life dreams as a games designer. He’s studying computer games design with Train2Game. He plans to use his army experience as inspiration for games.

Train2Game student, Daniel Smith: ‘I’m 28, from Newark (near Nottingham), although I have just moved to Preston. I’m studying the Computer Game Designers Course with Train2Game. It’s going well at the moment, but it was quite sporadic while I was in the Army. Sometimes I would be able to get into a good study pattern, other times there was a lot going on, from additional training, which can be long and intense, to exercises aboard and deployments. This meant I would have to spend a lot of effort catching up.’

‘I’ve just started Section 2 Part C. The experience has been very positive, they’ve been very understanding of my situation and have given me lots of support and advice. I’ve wanted to become a Game Designer for some time, before taking the course I had no idea what was required to become one, so taking the course to make sure I have all the skills and knowledge I need.’

‘I was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, After completing Basic Training I was trained as a Combat Engineer, learning such skills as Water Supply, Field Fortifications and Demolitions. I then went on to being trained as an Electrician. I had many roles after I had finished my training, I was given the responsibility of looking after a store, and being trained as a Team Medic, I volunteered to be trained in EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) and further trained as a Searcher.’ 

‘I have a lot of positive memories from the Army. I’ve visited many places, like Petra in Jordan and Bosnia. I’ve been parachuting, white water rafting and scuba diving. But my best memories have to be with the friends I made and the (now legendary) things we all got up to. I’ve also achieved a lot, even completing some of the training courses were huge accomplishments. I served in Afghanistan in 2011 as a Searcher, which involved clearing IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) routes and buildings.’

‘I’ve now left the military, Army life was starting to get in the way of where I wanted my life to go. I’ve always been interested in gaming. I prefer playing computer games over reading books or watching TV. I’m also an avid wargamer and have been since I was in my early teens. it seemed logical to start studying the subject.’ 

‘I have written a set of rules for a squad-sized tabletop game that draws from my army experience of firefights, being fast and chaotic events that can easily devolve into a confusing mess if not controlled well. I also have an idea for a war inspired game that involves the use of infantry tactics, as well having to manage what equipment you take with you on missions. I am a fan on RTS, TBS and RPGs games and would really enjoy creating games in there genres.’

‘I’ll predominantly draw from the fighting side of my time in the army for war-style games, but this sense of conflict and overcoming obstacles will translate to other genres, particularly RPGs. Soldiers also have a very unique sense of humour that will inevitably find its way into my games.’

‘I hope to work my way up to the position of Senior Designer and Lead Designer. I hope to create games that people will love to play and that will be looked on as classics.’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2game News GameFounders

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GameFounders has over 150 game executives in its global mentor network from Blizzard to Valve, Ketchapp to Rovio, Unity to Google.

Ten lucky teams get to spend 3 months learning from these industry giants and tapping into their vast networks while living in the gorgeous city of Kuala Lumpur. Which young game studio would not want that?

Since 2012, GameFounders has made 46 investments into young game studios from 22 different countries. There are no rules as to the games the teams make- so far they have targeted mobile, PC and VR platforms, made F2P, premium and ad-based games as well as targeted all regions of the world. The main criteria of the evaluation to get into GameFounders are the team composition, the vision and the quality the team can produce.

The success stories of GameFounders portfolio teams so far include: Bad Seed Entertainment from Italy that went on to raise investment from Mind the Bridge and United Ventures; IMGNATION Studio from Brazil that went on to raise investment and get accepted to the US based VR accelerator Boost VC; Tiny Lab Productions from Lithuania that was awarded Google Top Developer for the quality of games they produce; Interactive Fate from Estonia that raised investment from a crowd investment platform; Bitcake Studio from Brazil that went on to launch their game Holodrive and grew their players from 10k to a million.

All game studios around the world can apply through gamefounders.com/apply until June 10, 2016. If selected to the program, the studio will have access to over 150 gaming mentors, partners and intros. Besides that, GameFounders is providing the start-ups with seed capital of up to 15k euros in exchange for a moderate share of equity. Teams are expected to have beta version, prototype or slice of their game, but also to be ready to set up a business. The upcoming 3-month cycle, already sixth for GameFounders, takes off in August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The applications will be evaluated by the very same mentors, that will be working with the teams. “We have now seen over 1000 applications from around 80 countries in our 4 years of operations, so we can already see from the applications who is taking their business seriously and who wants to try their luck,” noted Kadri Ugand, co-founder of the accelerator. “Fortunately for us we see a huge number of teams that have thought beyond needing money to finish the game and have a plan to grow into a real business.”

GameFounders, created in early 2012, is a global start-up accelerator that is purely focused on gaming. The accelerator offers young game companies high-level mentors, partnership deals and a global contact network with a sprinkle of start-up capital.

GameFounders Asia was launched in 2015 in alliance with MDeC, a Malaysian government agency, which drives the National ICT Initiative; MSC Malaysia and the National Digital Economy Initiative; Digital Malaysia. MSC Malaysia is the platform to nurture the growth of Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the ICT industry while attracting participation from global ICT companies to invest and develop cutting-edge digital and creative solutions in Malaysia.

Train2game News Train2Game student joins UK studio

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Looking to make next step into the Games Industry Muir Halleron is volunteering with Games Development studio Atom Republic.

Muir who’s originally from the US now lives in Leeds with son and cat, has been with Train2Game for three years. At this stage coming to the end of the course and looking at City & Guilds qualifications.

Muir is volunteering with Atom Republic as a moderator, working on its Atom Universe social world, a project which is now available on PS4 and Steam.

Muir sees networking and working with professionals as a huge plus and has learnt a great deal from the experience. Now plans to use the experience to get into making games or as a foot in the door as a moderator or QA.

Train2Game student, Muir Halleron ‘I’m an American ex Pat and have been living in the UK for 15 years. Currently I live in Leeds, West Yorkshire with my teenage son Paul and our cat Felix. For the last 3 and a half years I’ve been studying T2Gs Computer programming and Game Design course.’

‘I’ve finished the programming part of the course and am on the last optional module that I’ve chosen (Design module D15 – Seeking Employment). In addition to this, I am currently working on the C&G diploma assignments. I’ve met lots of other students through my time on the course which is a huge positive. Another highlight is meeting some of the T2G staff a few years ago at a gaming convention in London.’

‘With only one month left of the six months extension I was given to do the C&G assignments, I am definitely feeling the pressure right now and have been all year. Out of the four assignments, I only have two of them complete, with another nearly done and the fourth about at the halfway mark.’

‘Working between 8 – 10 hours per day, 7 days a week, I should be able to get the last two remaining assignments working well enough to turn in on time though. I am 100% looking forward to finishing and will be taking at least a month off to unwind once it’s all done.’

‘Currently I’m working with Atom Republic as a volunteer forum moderator. Atom Republic is made up of a small team of developers and they are currently working on Atom Universe, a social world much like PS Home was before Sony retired it.’

‘So far, it’s been a good experience. I’ve worked with their Community Manager before, which is good, as it allows a bit more rapport. We know how the other works and have similar work ethics, which really help us to work together well.’

‘Through volunteering, I’m learning the different ways to manage the gaming community and how to develop and encourage a healthy community. The moderation team is larger than I’ve worked with previously, but I would say it’s just the right size, allowing everyone to get to know each other. ‘

‘Atom Republic is currently developing Atom Universe, as I said above. It is Free to Play and is currently available to the public on PS4 and Steam, where it’s in Early Access.’

‘As for personal projects, I have a few that I’d like to work on, but they’ve been put on hold until after I’ve completed the C&G assignments.’

‘I don’t think I’ll be applying for a job with Atom Republic, just because they live outside commuting distance from where I currently live. However, the experience will most likely serve me well when I do start applying for jobs around the Leeds area.’

‘Once I’ve finished the C&G assignments, my plan is to flesh out and improve on my knowledge and ability in C# and Unity as well as C++ and DirectX 11. I plan on doing this by designing and making a game or two in each language. These will then become a part of my portfolio, with which I hope to use to get a job in either the gaming industry or in a non gaming specific programming position, if any are available. If not, I should be able to get in on the ground floor so to speak in either QA or community management.’

Atom Republic, Atom Universe http://www.atomrepublic.com/AtomUniverse/
For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2game News Game Marmalade game jam needs students

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Game Marmalade gathers momentum but needs more participants

Train2Game Game Jam organised by students has secured a major prize and support but needs more students to make the Game Jam a huge success

Train2Game student Slinks is organising the first ever online Game Jam for Train2Game students. She’s done incredibly well in setting up the event, four teams have signed up so far but the Game Jam could certainly get bigger.

Prizes have been secured and a theme will be decided at the beginning of the event. The Game Jam takes place on the 27th May. Students have heard about the jam and starting to sign up but more are needed. It’s a great networking opportunity, a way to improve skills and a great way to create more portfolio work.

Train2Game has provided a gaming laptop for the winning team. A student at YoYo games could also be providing a prize. Students will make a full game during the event and be able to use any games produced to impress future employers.

The organisers are on the lookout for more participants from all Train2Game disciplines and ideally want to source a Dev for the judging panel.

Train2Game student and Game Jam organiser, Slinks, said:  ‘It’s certainly a slow burner and although I’ve put a lot of hard work into getting the message out there, it’s been more difficult than expected to get people involved. However I haven’t given up and I will continue to work on making Game Marmalade a success, as I believe it is important for students to have contact with other students, especially on a distance learning course, as it can feel very isolated studying on your own. This is something I experienced in the second year of my course and what prompted me to start the Team speak channel and now organising Game Marmalade.’

‘Train2Game are still top of the stack when it comes to prizes, with their generous donation of a gaming laptop for the winning team. I’ve also been contacted by a fellow student, Ryan Pearton of YoYo Tech, who has some interesting ideas for prizes which will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks. When I have more information I will update the website. We currently have 4 teams of 4, with a good mix of people in each, so we should be able to get 4 great games together at least.’

‘There will be a theme for Game Marmalade, as the aim of the event is to make a working game which uses the theme in some way. Teams have been asked to put forward their suggestion for a theme and at the beginning of the event all the suggestions will be put into a hat and one will be picked out at random. Whatever is picked out of the hat will be the theme for the entire event and teams will need to incorporate it into their game in some way. For instance if the theme was yellow you might make the UI buttons yellow, or you might use yellow in the title, but points will be awarded for how creatively the theme is used.’

‘I would really like to get a Dev on the judging panel as it’s totally artist heavy at the moment, the teams are going to have to come up with some good looking games if it stays the way it is lol. But yes, we are looking for as many people to get involved as possible. The more teams we have, the more interesting it’ll be to see the different art styles and the different ways the theme is used and interpreted.’

People can get involved by visiting the website http://slinkydink68.wix.com/game-marmalade which also has all the information about Game Marmalade, or contact Slinks directly by email slinky.dink68@outlook.com  and can also pm her on either of the Train2Game forums.

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2game News Develop Brighton 2016

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Tandem Events, organisers of Europe’s leading game developers conference Develop:Brighton, today announce Hideo Kojima, director of Kojima Productions, as keynote speaker for this year’s conference.
                                                                                               
Hideo Kojima is a world-renowned game creator and auteur known for pushing the boundaries of the video game medium.  Widely considered the father of the stealth genre, he is also credited with innovative story-telling and cinematic presentation in video games at large.

Famed for the hit Metal Gear Solid franchise, Kojima will be joined onstage for an hour long fire side chat with industry legend, president of Cerny Games and long-time friend, Mark Cerny. The discussion will focus around Kojima’s inspirations, process and his thoughts on the future of the game.

As well as delivering this year’s keynote, Hideo Kojima will be awarded the 2016 Industry Legend Award at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards on the evening of Wednesday 13 July, the same award fellow keynoter, Mark Cerny received in 2014.

“We’re delighted and honoured to announce Hideo Kojima as our keynote speaker for Develop:Brighton 2016,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events. “Known the world over as someone who’s at the forefront of what’s possible within video games, he continually pushes the boundaries. Alongside his good friend, Mark Cerny, these gaming legends have an amazing history within the games industry and I’m looking forward to hearing more.”

Develop:Brighton takes place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole from Tuesday 12 July to Thursday 14 July. The keynote entitled Industry Legends Discuss the Future: A Conversation with Hideo Kojima, will take place on Wednesday 13 July at 10am.

Other sessions announced for Develop:Brighton 2016:

Don’t Forget the Eyeballs: Developing Compelling Games for eSports Audiences
Ian Sharpe, Azubu

Converting an Established Genre in VR: Pitfalls and Opportunities
Martin de Ronde, Vanguard

What Not to Do as a Startup
Ella Romanos, Strike Gamelabs

Lets Talk Narrative with Rhianna Pratchett
Rhianna Pratchett, Writer

Harnessing the Power of the Crowd to Get Your Game Noticed
Kate Russell, Journalist, Reporter and Author

From 2 to 13: Growing from Nothing and Working with the “Big Boys”
Aj Grand-Scrutton, Dlala Studios

Community-driven Game Development through innovative Marketing Analytics
Ammar Jawad, Radiant Worlds.

Passes are currently available at http://www.developconference.com/