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/

Train2game News 2 Brothers Form Student Studio

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Train2Game studio on the hunt for more team members

Turrall brothers have formed SolarFlare and now looking to grow the team

Two brothers based in West Midlands are looking to expand their studio and take on new volunteers to create games with them. They are using the studio to get hands on experience and want to offer others the same opportunity.

The team called SolarFlare are made up of Edward and his brother. Edward is studying with Train2Game, he’s had a positive experience with Train2Game and wants to get more students involved in studios. The Turrall’s created SolarFlare to release games in the UK on Android, and looking to take steps into Switzerland in the future.

The brothers are using SolarFlare as work experience in their games making journey and the door is open for more students to join them. They also want anyone who is interested in gaming to join up and experience is not necessary, new team members will learn on the job and thrown straight into a working company.

Edward Turrall, Train2Game student and SolarFlare founder, said: ‘My name is Edward James Turrall, 23 years young and live in the West Midlands.’

‘I did a course with Train2Game a few years back. It was the Arts and Animation course, however I did not finish that one and got transferred to the App Development course which I am still doing as we speak. Admittedly, I am taking longer than I thought I would as a lot of other things have come up since I started.’

‘Both the courses have been very informative for me and helped me gain more experience in each field. App Development and Art & Design. My experience with Train2Game was amazing and 100% positive, I would, in future, work together with them to get more Students involved in new Studios, existing Studios and more Student arranged Events.’

‘SolarFlare is a new start-up Studio that my brother and I have formed because we love making games and wanted to get into the Industry in the UK and Switzerland as we want to take the Gaming Industry over there.’

‘We founded the Studio in November 2015 with the aim to develop Android and iOS games at the beginning and then large scale multi-platform MMORPGS based in the distant (or near) future. Another aim that I have had for the UK Office was for Students to get the opportunity to work together with some professionals and gain experience, almost like work experience, just this won’t be anything like it.’

‘I myself aim to give Students a chance to be part of a large company without having to go through years of University or education. They will be able to join us (as long as they Study anything to do with games, art & design or App development) to hone on their skills, get experience and build an amazing Portfolio/CV for the future! Any students we like, could even be offered a starting position in the Studio and work themselves up the ladder.’

‘We are a family run business as it is my brother and I. We get along well, work gets done and we give the players what they want. Games have been a HUGE part of my life growing up, and have helped me through times where I had nothing else to do as a kid. They’ve given me a new sense of my imagination and inspired me to do a lot of things such as Photography, 3d Art and Design and more. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done all of those things without games, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to adjust my imagination in such a way without them.’

‘I want to help other people and show them that not everyone needs to go to school for years just to get a great job. I want to be able to pick a few students from a College, give them all a computer and an office to work in and give them 2 months to make a game. And then hopefully over them a job if they can pull that off. If not, I will give them a chance to change their lives and learn more than they could ever learn in a College or University as they would be working on real games, with real people and with real money involved. Sure the College/University Degree/Diploma will be needed at some point, but I hope to be able to work together with Train2Game so that they could work towards that degree while working for us at SolarFlare Studios.’

‘At the moment we only develop for the Android market place as we do not have the funds available to release onto iOS devices. But we plan on working that out in the near future and then develop iOS games as well as Android games. I can’t tell you much about the latest project as it is still on the drawing board, however I can tell you guys about the game already released.’

‘The game we already released on the Android Market is called Count Rockoola and features a Rock that happens to be a Vampire. You adventure as this rock, collect Blood as the Score, Premium Garlic as the “Coins” in the game and avoid the normal Garlics as they will, as you are a Vampire, hurt you and then kill you if you happen to find too many of them (5). The project itself is still in its infant stages but I am bringing out new updates soon to fix a few issues we’ve been having. Crashing issues, Sound issues, Sprite issues, etc. The other things I am also working on are procedurally generated Levels as I do not have any Level Designers that could help me make any at this point.’

‘We are looking for new people!! However, you cannot really call them “employees” as they will not be getting paid as of yet. But in the near future, if we make enough games and enough people download them & buy in game currencies, they will be paid per Level they make.
For example; You make 1 Level for a game that’s got 500,000+ Downloads, if 50% out of those 500,000+ people buy currency, you will be paid. Depending on the length of the Level you made, you will be paid around £1 – £50. It all varies on your experience as well.’

‘But for now, we just want Students to get involved as we want them to gain experience and get a good feeling with the Programme we are using. You just need to know how to use a Programme called Construct 2, which was made by Scirra LTD. You will need to know how to make a Level in it and how to send it as an individual file. Nothing special J’

‘The main objective of our “employees” will be to make Levels and improvements to the game if they wish to do so, in future, I want to be able to have over 500 levels, if not over 2,000. They will need to be able to attend weekly, if not daily Skype calls to give us updates on what they are doing and give us weekly/monthly reports on the Levels they have made, if they hit any issues or if they’ve made a mistake in the game.’

‘This is a great opportunity for a Student to jump out of their comfort zone and show everyone what they can do! If you are someone that wants to show everyone what you can do, then you should come help us out! You will learn a lot about is and about the gaming industry in the UK. You will have the chance to meet new people and get closer to something you love doing – MAKE GAMES.’

‘We aim to be the first ever Gaming Studio to succeed in Switzerland and bring games to the people down there in Central Europe. We aim to help Colleges and Universities with Student Projects and give them support with Students that don’t know how to do a certain thing. We want to show people that making a game isn’t always “fun” or “lazy” or something you do because you are a Nerd/Geek. I myself, want to give everyone the opportunity to jump out of their seat, shout at the TV and say “I HELPED MAKE THAT GAME!!!!” without having to hide it. Be proud of making a game and be proud to be a gamer. The future is now, not tomorrow.’

‘Join SolarFlare Studios as a volunteer, help us spread our wings and you might just get a chance to be part of the Studios first ever employees to bring out amazing games for Kids, Teenagers and Adults in each and every country of the world.’

Visit SolarFlare here: http://solarflare-studios.com/

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 Pocket Gamer Top 50 Finalists

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The complete Pocket Gamer Top 50 finalists have now been announced and the list is available to view on the PocketGamer.biz website.

Developers including: Rovio Entertainment, Space Ape Games, Next Games and Wargaming have used the opportunity to discuss why the accolades are so important and to thank Pocket Gamer.biz for the recognition.

PocketGamer.biz and Developers are available for comment.

The full list including the top ten can be viewed here
http://www.pocketgamer.biz/list/62773/top-50-mobile-game-developers-of-2016/

Or view the video of the Top 50 here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZGrLovn2E4

The PocketGamer.biz Awards are in there 7th year and continue to demonstrate just how global and dynamic the mobile game industry is, with representatives in the top ten from the Nordics, Europe, Asia and the US. These awards are incredibly important in being visible in the global market place and to the wider games industry. Interestingly five in the top ten are Asian.

Some developers have found that they are appearing for the first time, showing how much can change in a year in the mobile games industry. But some are appearing for years running, demonstrating they’ve cracked this very challenging market.

Jon Jordan, PocketGamer.biz, said:
‘A number of factors go into the decision of winners: Financial is key, but the criteria also includes wider issues: is a company successfully operating in different global regions (or just one); across many – and/or different – platforms; running a single big title or experimenting with different genres and themes; and looking to expand?’

‘We also take into account a company’s soft power: how does it present itself to players and the industry at large and we love to reward ambitious startups who are attempting to innovate and shake up the entire market.’

‘But, let’s be clear. The lodestone running throughout our entire process is the quality of each developer’s game(s). For, not only is this list an attempt to gauge the top developers over the past 12 months, it’s also the attempt to highlight those who will be making the headlines over the year.’

‘And the quality of a company’s mobile games is – in my opinion – the best (if not the only) measure of this.’

Saara Bergström, CMO, Next Games
‘2015 was an awesome year for Next Games with our two first game launches. Our unique collaboration with AMC, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land has been well-received among the TV show fans and has fared tremendously well on the store charts. We have plenty of big surprises in store for 2016 and can’t wait to get them out into our players’ hands!’

Chris Akhavan, Glu Mobile
‘We’re delighted Glu has made the PG.biz Top 50 2016 list! It’s great to see Pocket Gamer continuing to recognize talent across the industry. Our inclusion is a testament to the hard work of our studio teams over the past year.  We’d also like to congratulate the other Top 50 finalists.’

Wilhelm That, Rovio Entertainment
‘Fabulous to be recognised amongst the best of the best! Honoured!’

Simon Hade, Space Ape Games
‘Thanks Pocket Gamer! We are honored to be included in the Top 50; we are dedicated to keep making games we are passionate about.’

Antoine Morcos, Ketchapp
‘We’re very pleased to be included in the Top 50 list this year, and humbly accept this recognition, on behalf of the developers we work with, as a reflection of their beautiful work.’

Sean Lee, Wargaming
‘Wargaming is honored and delighted to be included on this year’s PG.biz Top 50 list. To make every Player happy is our vision as a company, and we promise to continue to deliver even more happiness to our Players around the world.’

Maxim Petrov, CPO, ZeptoLab
‘2015 was a really important year for us: we successfully launched our first free-to-play title outside Cut the Rope franchise — King of Thieves — and it became a real hit. This was a result of two years of hard work on searching an innovative core gameplay, but we finally proved that we are not a one-hit game studio. Moreover, we didn’t forget about Cut the Rope either: by releasing a new game called Cut the Rope: Magic, we grew the series’ installs up to 800 million. We are glad that PG.biz noticed all these facts and included us into its Top 50 rating.’

Tom van Dam, Head of Mobile Business Development, NetEase
‘We’re all enormously proud to have been included in the PocketGamer.biz Top 50 Developers List and honoured to be listed among such esteemed fellow developers. It’s a happy recognition of the hard work and dedication put in by a huge number of people across NetEase, all talented and creative individuals, as well as a reflection of our loyal gaming community the world over. With the massive success of Fantasy Westward Journey and other new mobile games, it’s been a hugely productive year for us. And there is much more to come!’

Ben Liu, Pocket Gems
‘We’re honored to be counted as one of the world’s top developers by Pocket Gamer. Mobile games have come a long way in recent years and we believe we can build on our pioneering history to make something truly great. With new advancements in technology, developers exploring different concepts, and greater player interest, there’s never been a more exciting time to be making mobile games.’

Train2game News Train2game Student meet up at Rezzed

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Attendees heading to Rezzed this year have a great chance to meet and hang out with other students.

One of the biggest indie events on the UK calendar, EGX Rezzed takes place 7-9 April and Train2Game students are using the opportunity to hang out. Train2Game student Richard S is heading up plans to meet up and wants students to get in touch then join him at the event.

Gaming events are a great chance to meet other students; talk courses and games. Students can meet people in a similar situation and potentially work together. It’s great to meet people on the same course and on different courses to hear about their experiences.

There’s a number of amazing things to see at Rezzed, including: all things Indie and VR. It’s good inspiration to get into gaming and to strive forward in completing the course. Meeting up is a real positive and good for personal progression.

Events like Rezzed are a superb chance to interact with the industry and see what games are coming out. It’s a start at networking with the industry, a chance to build confidence.

Richard S spoke to Train2Game about why he is attending and why others should join him.

Richard S, Train2Game student: ‘I am very excited that Rezzed has come around again. I will take in what I can from the event and no doubt this event will give me a lot of drive with carrying on through my course, and even give me ideas with possible future projects I might be a part of.’

‘Since joining up with Train2Game on the Games Developer course I have tried to throw myself right into the industry. I believe that networking is a helpful component to finding work within the games industry. I want to meet Developers, publishers and industry bodies (like UKIE), also other fellow gamers.’

‘I feel that relating to people in a similar situation to myself is a positive: being on a long distance learning course and having a considerable interest for computer games. Meeting up would help me and my motivation for completing the course.’

‘If I meet with other programmers we can discuss how we are finding it and can discuss too possibly how we approach our studies. I feel I could even benefit I think from hearing how other people study even if they are on a different discipline like game design or arts or the QA course.’

‘I’m looking forward to Dead Pixels 2, Gang Beasts, Job Simulator, Orcs Must Dies Unchained, Overcooked (I do like a party game), Total War Warhammer, Warhammer The End Times Vermitide.’

‘These games catch my eye. I would like to see every game on show however and if anyone catches my interest I will hope to try and have a play on it even if a short go. I am keen to see what might be on offer in the Leftfield Collection also which are games that may be a little different from the norm.’

‘I am incredibly keen to have some time with the VR headsets this event as well. I’ve had a few tries with VR before from events. I am incredibly keen to have more time on these again. I find VR to be incredibly exciting as a gamer two fold.’

‘Rezzed is a big deal because this is a video games event from the people behind at Eurogamer.net. They have playable pre-release games for PC and console. A focus on indie titles particularly, developer sessions from people within the industry and The Gamesindustry.biz career fair where you can acquire advice relating to getting into the industry. Also the Rezzed sessions I am a fan of where you can get insight into games making, advice for developers and for people looking to get into development.’

‘It’s a chance to find out about the courses other students are studying and what they enjoy about it personally. Talk games, games and possibly a bit more games. Find out if anything in particular has attracted them to Rezzed this year. Get to know each other on a non-course related level too.’

‘I hope to see any other students that are planning on going this year. I have actually made a thread in the forums to try and help us meetup over the three days so feel free to post your interest in there. I hope everyone is doing alright on their courses too. Keep at it and best of luck.’

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