Train2Game News Let AI look after your community

Spirit AI, a leader in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Science and Machine Learning, today announced significant updates to its customer intelligence tool, Ally.

Designed to keep online forums healthier, Ally allows Customer Service and Data Science teams to understand the general tenor of the online community and predict problems before they escalate.

Ally considers context, nuance and the relationships between users versus seeking and blocking keywords. The software uses Natural Language Understanding and AI to identify the intent of a message, and then analyzes the behavior and reactions to determine its impact. Ally intelligently assists CS teams to identify users and user behaviors, and then provides data and customizable tools to improve the overall state of online play and forums.

“Online harassment has increasingly become an issue, both in-game and in other online forums, but it’s a challenging problem to solve. Not all communities have the same culture, rules, and norms, so one-size-fits-all solutions aren’t the best answer,” said Mitu Khandaker, Creative Partnerships Director at Spirit AI.

“It’s important to be able to consider the context; to be able to discern harassment from smack talk, in order foster safe, healthy communities. Ally looks beyond language to context and behavior to provide intelligence to help head off trouble.”

Spirit AI recently introduced a host of new features, some of which were unveiled at this year’s Game Developers Conference, and as part of the new Fair Play Alliance Summit. Product improvements include new Smart Filters, an updated and customizable web-based front end and intuitive node-based interface, and GDPR compliance.

· Smart filters – Using proprietary machine learning technology, Ally groups language classifications such as profanity and sexual content in ways that help avoid the common pitfalls of current technologies. Rather than taking a redactive or ‘censoring’ approach, Ally determines game-specific slurs to create robust word groupings that are easily identified as helpful or harmful.

  • Natural Language Classifiers and Sentiment Analysis – Ally looks at the words in real time and in context to detect upset users.
  • Bot Detection – Because Ally’s system looks at every message it can find patterns in language that reveal the bots and bad actors who are targeting your community.
  • Case File – Detected behavior is permanently stored so a Community Manager can understand an actor’s case file and identify repeat behaviors
  • User Insight – Ally can reveal how your users are interacting with each other and highlight the bad apple before the barrel is spoilt.

· User Interface – Ally‘s UI allows customer intelligence teams to monitor behavior across the community and automatically highlight repeat offenders. Customer service teams can rapidly identify both positive and negative behaviors and either promote or demote their users immediately.

· GDPR – Ally is GDPR compliant to better protect user privacy and data.

Spirit AI is expanding the Company’s customer roster, with several major companies both in and outside the games industry, using Ally.

To find out more visit https://spiritai.com/

Train2Game News The Final Season of The Walking Dead

Leading publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment today announced that episode one of The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be available for download starting August 14, 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One across all regions.

The Final Season will also come to Nintendo Switch later this year.

Starting June 8, players will be able to pre-order the game on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for $19.99. All players who pre-order The Final Season will receive download access to each of the season’s four episodes as they become available.

Players who pre-order on PS4 and Xbox One will also receive immediate access to The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection, which gathers all 19 existing episodes of the award-winning series into a single package.

PC players who pre-order on Steam, GOG, GamersGate, MacGameStore, or the Humble Store will receive 10% off the full retail price. Win10 pre-orders through the Microsoft Store will unlock season one of The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series. All pre-order offers expire August 14.

Season Description: Clementine, now a fierce and capable survivor, has reached the final chapter in her journey. After years on the road facing threats both living and dead, a secluded school might finally be her chance for a home. But protecting it will mean sacrifice. Clem must build a life and become a leader while still watching over AJ, an orphaned boy and the closest thing to family she has left. In this gripping, emotional final season, you will define your relationships, fight the undead, and determine how Clementine’s story ends.

  • Emotional, Gut-Wrenching Story – See Clementine’s journey through to the end. As she builds a new life, you will have to grapple with new types of choices and live with the consequences as AJ looks on, learning from your every move.
  • More Control, More Tension – A new over-the-shoulder camera system, greater freedom to explore detailed environments, and scenes with unscripted combat capture the fear of living in a world overrun by the undead and create the most engaging The Walking Dead game yet.
  • Striking New Visual Style – The all-new Graphic Black art style rips the ink from the pages of the Eisner Award-winning comic book series and brings the world of The Walking Dead to life like never before. Supports 4K resolution and high dynamic range on compatible devices.

In addition, The Walking Dead: The Final Season will be fully dubbed in French, German, Latin-American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. It will also be subtitled in French, German, Latin-American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and both traditional and simplified Chinese. Episode one voice packs and translations will be available for download on launch day.

To date, The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series has sold more than 50 million episodes worldwide, earning more than 100 Game of the Year awards from outlets including Metacritic, USA Today, Wired, The VGAs, Yahoo!, The Telegraph, Mashable, Polygon, Destructoid, and GamesRadar. It also the received two BAFTA Video Games Awards for Best Story.

The Walking Dead is set in the world of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book series and offers an emotionally-charged experience in which players’ actions and choices determine the course of the story across the entire series. More information regarding players’ ability to transfer their existing save files into The Final Season will be available soon.

Train2Game News Shaq Fu is back again

Saber Interactive and Wired Productions have officially released Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn globally on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™ and Windows PC.

The full game is now available digitally via the PlayStation®Store, Xbox Games Store, Nintendo eShop and Steam for £14.99/€19.99/$19.99.

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is also now available at major retailers as a physical boxed product for £24.99/€29.99/$29.99 on PlayStation®4 system and Xbox One and £34.99/€39.99/$39.99 on Nintendo Switch.

All retail versions will be bundled with a bonus game, which will be available to download later this month, and available for separate purchase. Gamers can visit wiredproductions.com/where-to-buy/Shaq-fu-a-legend-reborn to find their local retailer. More information about the bonus game will be released soon.

Wired Productions is also offering extremely rare Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn Limited Collector’s Editions directly through its online store: shop.wiredproductions.com. This special bundle can be purchased with or without the full game and features a ton of exclusive goodies for fans, including a stylish Shaq Fu t-shirt, bag, snapback, art book, vinyl single and art card.

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is an action-packed beat ‘em up starring the one and only Big Diesel himself: Shaquille O’Neal. Battle the hordes of Hollywood and hell on a one-man journey to avenge your fallen home and martial arts master. Smash down foes with devastating combos, face off against outlandish celebrity bosses, and unleash your fury with a variety of hard-hitting weapons and power-ups.

As previously announced by Saber Interactive, anyone who purchased NBA Playgrounds on Nintendo Switch prior to July 10, 2017, is eligible to receive a free copy of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn on Switch. Players can redeem this offer between June 5th and July 5th by simply browsing to Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn in the Nintendo eShop to download. For original owners of NBA Playgrounds on the eShop, they will see a 100% discount applied to Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a co-production of Saber Interactive and Big Deez Productions in partnership with Wired Productions and Mad Dog Games. It is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB and PEGI 12. For more information, visit www.alegendreborn.com .

Train2Game News Will eSports be at the 2020 Olympics?

With eSports tournaments expected to feature in some form in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and millions of pounds of prize money up for grabs for existing tournaments, it is no surprise that the popularity of viewing competitive multiplayer video gaming is on the rise.

According to the latest Harris 24 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, almost half of UK respondents aged 16-54 believe they have great potential for a mass audience in the future (49%), while a fifth of those polled (19%) agree that eSports should form an official part of the Olympic Games.

Awareness of eSports

The latest study, which aimed to investigate the UK’s awareness and perception of eSports and the impact on brands who sponsor such events, reveals that over three-quarters of those surveyed (76%) have heard of the term “eSports” and that two-fifths (39%) are interested in watching.

Streaming services – such as YouTube Gaming, used by almost half of eSports viewers (48%), and Twitch (39%) – are rapidly driving awareness.

Fortnite, a relative newcomer, stands out as the compelling eSports title, together with long-standing franchises FIFA and Call of Duty. Such games are helping to broaden its audience, which remains a niche – 18% of the UK currently watch eSports – according to the study.

Deeper coverage of the top competitions and its inclusion in the Olympics could be the core drivers to create more of a mass-market appeal. While the latter is not without its controversy (only 19% agree it should be included and 45% have concerns about violent eSports games), there is broader agreement (38%) that having eSports in the Olympics would make the games connect better with younger generations.

Brand opportunities

The survey highlights hugely enticing brand sponsorship opportunities in the coming years. Over half of all UK respondents (51%) and over three-quarters of those who were eSports viewers (76%) say they are happy for brands to sponsor eSports.

Furthermore, over half of those questioned (53%) and over three-quarters of those who were also eSport viewers (76%) agree that brands who sponsor eSports benefit from the association.

Crucially, almost three-fifths of the 2,030 respondents (58%) claim that eSports can help sponsor brands connect with a younger and tech-savvy audience.

For players and teams involved in eSports, there is the appeal of major prize money. The International Dota 2 Championship saw teams battle for a fund in excess of $20m, while Epic Games recently announced a $100 million prize pool for eSports events featuring battle royale game Fortnite.

“It’s fair to say that entertainment is a driving force for watching eSports, with almost two-fifths (37%) of the public agreeing that they are very entertaining,” commented Steve Evans, Head of Entertainment at Harris Interactive. “What’s more, we can see from the survey that viewers are extremely receptive to brand association, which should encourage brands to invest in sponsorship opportunities afforded by popular eSports events, leagues and tournaments. The potential for brands to tap into younger, tech-savvy audiences is huge, and will only increase further as its popularity intensifies.”

A link to the full research can be found at: http://www2.harris-interactive.com/esportsreport

The eight-minute online survey was completed by 2,030 participants and was conceived, designed, fielded and analysed using the Harris 24 ultrafast polling service during May 2018.

Results are weighted to be representative of UK demographics by gender, age and region. To find out more, visit: http://harris-interactive.co.uk/solutions/harris-24/.

Train2Game News 4K Game Capture Card Released

AVerMedia Technologies, Inc., a leader in digital video and audio, have introduced its brand-new line of low latency Live Gamer 4K UHD game capture cards at Computex 2018, headlined by the upcoming Live Gamer 4K internal PCIe card that can capture every nuance of stunning 4K HDR console gaming.

The card can also record Full HD at up to an amazing 240 fps to seamlessly capture every single frame output from today’s high-performance game systems.

AVerMedia offers capture cards for all gamer types, as the company additionally confirmed today the upcoming Live Gamer ULTRA, a driverless, laptop-friendly external card that can capture up to 4Kp30 with full 4K HDR passthrough and onboard video processing, and the Live Gamer EXTREME 2, a smaller external card with customizable graphic cover, 4K passthrough, onboard downscaling and 1080p60 recording.

The Live Gamer 4K and Live Gamer ULTRA cards are scheduled to ship on June 25, while the Live Gamer EXTREME 2 is available today online and at retail.

“The goal of our Live Gamer 4K UHD line of capture cards is to give streamers a strong range of 4K options to stream, record and share spectacular gameplay visuals and audio,” said David Kao, Marketing Director of AVerMedia. “Game streamers are the new rock stars, and AVerMedia caters to today’s celebrities while also providing aspiring and upcoming influencers with affordable, high quality tools as they prepare for a bright future.”

Game streaming is one of the fastest growing entertainment sectors, with over 100M monthly users on Twitch alone. In conjunction, PC and next generation console gaming are increasingly moving to stunning 4K visuals. AVerMedia’s Live Gamer 4K UHD lineup unites both these trends, allowing gamers and influencers to “future proof” their rig for 4K and high frame rate capture easily, and at an affordable price. From the top of the line Live Gamer 4K that can capture incredible 4K HDR details down to the movement of an eyelash to the highly affordable Live Gamer EXTREME 2, AVerMedia has the cards gamers want and need.

Additionally, all cards come with AVerMedia’s proprietary RECentral software that supports simultaneous streaming to Twitch, YouTube and Mixer from a single app, and CyberLink’s PowerDirector 15 4K video editing software.

For more information about AVerMedia Technolgies, Inc. and its lineup of products, please visit www.avermedia.com/gaming

Train2Game News Life is Strange coming to Android

SQUARE ENIX® today announced that DONTNOD Entertainment’s award-winning, five-episode narrative-driven adventure, LIFE IS STRANGE, are now available to pre-register for Android players.

All five episodes will be available in full this July with controller support included, exclusive to Android.

All 5 episodes of LIFE IS STRANGE are also available now on iOS.

Enhanced with Unreal Engine 4 and developed by Black Wing Foundation, this faithful adaptation of the original console game features full touch screen integration and in-game photo-mode, giving players the opportunity to photograph Arcadia Bay like never before!

With high quality production values and a unique hand-drawn art style fully optimized for Android, you will follow the story of Max Caulfield, a photography senior who discovers she can rewind time while saving her best friend Chloe Price.

The pair soon find themselves investigating the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber, uncovering a dark side to life in Arcadia Bay. Meanwhile, Max must quickly learn that changing the past can sometimes lead to a devastating future.

Key Features:

  • A beautifully written, modern adventure game.
  • Rewind time to change the course of events.
  • Multiple endings depending on the choices you make.
  • Striking, hand-painted visuals.
  • Distinct, licensed indie soundtrack featuring Alt-J, Foals, Angus & Julia Stone, Jose Gonzales and more.

Features Exclusive to Mobile:

  • Complement your mobile experience with full controller support, exclusive to Android players.
  • Enhanced user interface for full touch screen integration.
  • Share your game progress on social media and compare your story choices with friends.
  • An all-new Photo Mode allows you to take pictures, modify them with filters and share them easily.

Visit Google Play to pre-register your copy of LIFE IS STRANGE: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.squareenix.lis

Train2Game News SEGA Saturn Android controller

Videogame merchandise retailer Merchoid have just unveiled the most compact time machine ever in the form of an officially licensed SEGA android smartphone controller.

Relive all your childhood favourites without having to delve into that attic!

Based on the ergonomic SEGA Saturn controller (the one with six buttons instead of three), this device can be used with any Android phone to play a heap of SEGA games (a lot of which are free on Google Play already).

The phone holder is removable meaning you’ve finally got a loophole for when your parents say you’re too close to the screen. Simply place the phone wherever you please and control from afar, moan-free.

Also, there are absolutely no wires due to the Bluetooth connectivity, meaning the device offers truly wireless play.

Sure, people can brag about their NES Classic but can they use it on the go? Definitely not. After all this time, it still seems SEGA does what Nintendon’t!

Merchoid’s community manager, Jessica Adams, had the following to say, “Can’t talk. Playing Sonic.”

If you want to live in the past today you can purchase the SEGA Saturn Android controller at https://www.merchoid.com/product/sega-android-smartphone-controller/

Train2Game News Dragon Ball Legend available now

Leading interactive entertainment developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. are pleased to announce DRAGON BALL LEGENDS is now available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play.

This new one-finger card action battle game lets players go head-to-head in real time with rivals from around the globe in PVP battles at home or on-the-go.

DRAGON BALL LEGENDS has the legendary Goku and a trio of brand-new characters drawn by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama himself.

  • Shallot, a time-displaced Saiyan from the past
  • Zahha, a magical swordsman sent from a far-flung world
  • A mysterious hooded man

DRAGON BALL LEGENDS was originally announced via a pre-launch campaign in March and since that time it has broken BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s all-time record with over 4.5 million total registrations.

In commemoration of this milestone, all users who begin playing the game today will receive Goku, Frieza, a rare character and Chrono Crystals (items used to summon fighters in-game) upon download.

“DRAGON BALL LEGENDS introduces an innovative one-finger battle system that gives players of all experience levels the ability to fight like Goku, Gohan and Vegeta” said Keigo Ikeda, Producer of DRAGON BALL LEGENDS (BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc).

Train2Game News Sonic fans start your engines

SEGA® unveiled Team Sonic Racing™, a brand-new racing experience developed by award-winning studio Sumo Digital.

Combining the best elements of arcade and fast-paced competitive style racing with unique vehicle customisation options, Sonic fans can play solo, team up with friends or face-off against each other in high-stake races between rival teams across the Sonic Universe.

Team Sonic Racing is set to release both physically and digitally this winter on Sony PlayStation®4, Microsoft Xbox® One and Nintendo Switch™, with a digital-only release on PC.

To pre-order the physical edition please visit www.teamsonicracing.com , details of digital pre-order will be available at a later date.

To celebrate the announcement, SEGA has unveiled a new trailer giving fans a glimpse of what’s to come this winter. On your mark, get set, go check out the full reveal trailer for Team Sonic Racing here:

Team Sonic Racing lets fans speed through vibrant circuits from the Sonic Universe as Sonic, Shadow, Tails, and more while taking part in an electrifying multiplayer racing competition. Compete solo or play with up to 12 drivers online in various exhilarating single and multiplayer game modes, including Grand Prix, Time Trial, Team Adventure and more. With unique character types, game modes, and car customisation options, Team Sonic Racing blends the best elements of racing games.

Key Features:

  • Online Multiplayer & Local Co-Op Modes – 12 players per race, 4 player split screen, and various offline / online race modes including Grand Prix Mode, Exhibition Mode, Time-Trial and Team Adventure Mode.
  • Team Racing – Race as a team, win as a team. Use various team moves to assist your teammates, knock out opponents and unleash your Team Ultimate.
  • Performance & Skin Customisation – Alter the appearance and handling of your vehicle.
  • Wisps – 14 spectacular offensive and defensive items to help overcome rival teams and get ahead!
  • Adventure Mode – Unique story experience where players are introduced to basic game features and characters.
  • Various Characters and Types – 15 playable characters from across the Sonic Universe and 3 distinct character types including Speed, Technique, and Power.

To stay current on Sonic the Hedgehog news, follow Sonic on Twitter and Instagram, like him on Facebook, and subscribe to the Twitch channel and the YouTube channel.

For more information, please visit www.sonicthehedgehog.com

Train2Game News Game Dev Heroes

A new search for excellence in the games industry was announced today as the Game Dev Heroes initiative officially launched.

The only national awards ceremony to celebrate game developers for their individual contributions to their studios, teams and projects, the Game Dev Heroes aim to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes and hidden visionaries behind our favourite titles. Game Dev Heroes are now calling on industry professionals to nominate their studio’s heroes.

Anyone in the studio could be a winner, with categories spanning development, management, marketing and community, the studio ‘Unsung Hero’, and ‘Diversity Champion’. The submission deadline is Tuesday 19th June 2018. An award will also be given to highlight a member of the industry for their Outstanding Contribution, which will be chosen by the judging panel.

The awards are already garnering support with Aardvark Swift, GamesJobsDirect, Analog and Launchpad announced as the first sponsors. The judging panel is set to be announced shortly, composed of industry professionals across HR and senior management, who’ll be able to dig deep into the applications and really comprehend the achievements of those nominated. Simon Hope, Director and Lead Recruiter at headline sponsor Aardvark Swift, said ‘We’re delighted to be part of such a brilliant initiative. Games, projects and studios can only be as strong and successful as their dev team are, and we should recognise and celebrate those who’re making a personal contribution. We speak to so many talented people every single day who’re personally doing phenomenal things – those individuals deserve to be celebrated.’

The award winners are set to be announced on Tuesday 10th July as part of a Game Dev Heroes networking event, held in Brighton throughout Develop Conference week. The event is free to attend but will be ticketed entry – to be notified when tickets are available head over to http://www.gamedevheroes.co and sign up to the mailing list.

Please direct any queries relating to nominations, judging or sponsorship to
info@gamedevheroes.co and head over to www.gamedevheroes.co to take part.