Train2Game News Sony 180 on crossplay

Sony have announced that crossplay is a feature that will be available.

Taken from the PlayStation blog:

“Following a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content. We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community’s continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution.

The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective.

For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective. Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players. In recognition of this, we have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.

This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this change. We will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward.”

I for one am looking forward to seeing where a world of crossplay can take us.

Train2Game News Games Dev Tool Crayta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Train2Game News Final Fantasy Returns to Consoles

SQUARE ENIX® today announced that several titles from the legendary FINAL FANTASY® series are coming to the Nintendo Switch™ system, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and STEAM®.

From exploring the expansive world of Ivalice in FINAL FANTASY® XII THE ZODIAC AGE®, to enjoying iconic scenes from FINAL FANTASY® VII, IX and X / X-2 HD Remaster, fans will soon be able to play hallmark FINAL FANTASY titles anytime and anywhere.

The fun starts with today’s release of FINAL FANTASY® XV POCKET EDITION HD for the Nintendo Switch, and the upcoming release of WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY® MAXIMA on November 6th. The Chocobo’s Dungeon series also returns for the first time in ten years with Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!™ bound for release this winter. The remaining titles, including the return of co-op action RPG FINAL FANTASY® CRYSTAL CHRONICLES® Remastered Edition, will release in 2019.

The full list of the announced FINAL FANTASY titles and platforms are available below:

NINTENDO SWITCH

  • FINAL FANTASY® CRYSTAL CHRONICLES® Remastered Edition
  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!™
  • FINAL FANTASY® VII
  • FINAL FANTASY® IX
  • FINAL FANTASY® X / X-2 HD Remaster
  • FINAL FANTASY® XII THE ZODIAC AGE®
  • FINAL FANTASY® XV POCKET EDITION HD
  • WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY® MAXIMA

XBOX ONE

  • FINAL FANTASY® VII
  • FINAL FANTASY® IX
  • FINAL FANTASY® X / X-2 HD Remaster
  • FINAL FANTASY® XII THE ZODIAC AGE®
  • FINAL FANTASY® XV POCKET EDITION HD
  • WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY® MAXIMA

PLAYSTATION®4 SYSTEM

  • FINAL FANTASY® CRYSTAL CHRONICLES® Remastered Edition
  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!™
  • FINAL FANTASY® XV POCKET EDITION HD
  • WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY® MAXIMA

PC

  • WORLD OF FINAL FANTASY® MAXIMA

Further information on each title is available at: http://sqex.link/FFgames.

Train2Game News The Last Remnant Remastered

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

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

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

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

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

Train2Game News LawBreakers


​PlayStation®4 gamers will be able to beat gravity into submission and compete in gravity-defying competition in LawBreakers, the new multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) from renowned game designer Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key Productions.
LawBreakers will be enhanced for PS4™Pro and promises to challenge even the best players to bring their skills, get off the ground and deliver death from every angle as they experience thrilling fast-paced, omni-directional gunplay with innovative movement systems and combat abilities.

From the mind of Bleszinski, LawBreakers is set in a brand new futuristic world where the laws of gravity have been turned upside down. A war between the Law and the Breakers rages across a variety of iconic locations such as the boiling oceans of the Santa Monica coastline to the gravity-ravaged Grand Canyon and beyond.

Today Nexon also revealed its business model for the game which sees the base game starting at just $29.99. In addition, the company confirmed that there will be no season pass-style program and that all future content updates will be free. Also, there are no “pay-to-win” mechanics in the game, just a robust offering of cosmetics for players to earn via the game’s Stash-Box system.

“With LawBreakers, we wanted to honor the skill-based FPS games of yesteryear, all while embracing the new and pushing the genre in our own unique way,” said Bleszinski. “We found that messing with gravity, and having it mess with the player, adds a dynamic vertical element that will challenge players of all skill levels to go above their limits. Add in a variety of character role play-styles that go beyond the basic ‘tank, sniper and medic,’ a price point that we feel is fair to the player and the fact that it’s just damn fun to play – we’re confident LawBreakers will be one of the best valued and most challenging FPS games on PC or console.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Cliff and his team to bring such a unique and challenging combat experience to PS4,” said Owen Mahoney, President and CEO, NEXON Co., Ltd.  “This marks a major milestone for Nexon as we launch onto a home videogame console for the first time in the company’s history.”

The PS4™ version of LawBreakers will make its debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13-15, and attendees will be among the first to experience its unique brand of gravity-defying combat. Qualified media and influencers are encouraged to book appointments to play the game on PS4™ and PC game as space will be limited. 

LawBreakers (rated M) will now launch simultaneously on PlayStation®4 Pro and on Steam later this year, but no release date has been announced at this time.

For more information on LawBreakers, please visit: lawbreakers.com

Official LawBreakers on PlayStation®4 reveal cinematic trailer created by Blur Studio: https://youtu.be/6bRK4BQkNmQ

Train2Game News PlayStation 4 Surpasses 50m sales

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) today announced that PlayStation®4 (PS4™) has cumulatively sold through more than 50 million units to consumers worldwide as of December 6, 2016, having enjoyed the best ever Black Friday week in the history of PlayStation®. 
This includes the sales of PlayStation®4 Pro (PS4™Pro), a high-end system that supports cutting-edge imaging technology, which launched last month.

With a vast array of exciting software titles from 3rd party developers and publishers as well as from SIE Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS), PS4 software sales also remain strong, with more than 369.6 million copies sold in retail stores globally and through digital downloads on PlayStation®Store as of December 4, 2016.

“We’re truly delighted that the PS4 community continues to flourish since launch three years ago.” said Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “With tremendous support from our fans and partners across the globe, this year we were able to deliver an unprecedented lineup of hardware, including the new slimmer PS4, PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR. We will continue to provide the best gaming experiences available through our ground-breaking software lineup and network services, as we focus on accelerating our business and expanding the PS4 ecosystem.”

PS4’s software portfolio will continue to grow this holiday season and beyond with highly anticipated games including Horizon Zero Dawn, Gran Turismo Sport, and MLB® The Show 17™ (all from SIE WWS), as well as PlayStation®VR games such as Farpoint (SIE WWS). Third-party publishers and the independent development community will also continue to deliver a variety of blockbuster franchises and innovative new titles for PS4.

SIE will continue to expand the world of PS4 to deliver entertainment experiences that are only possible on PlayStation.

The PS4 system is currently available in 122 countries and regions worldwide.

Train2Game News Speech Graphics launches animation SGX


Award winning software company Speech Graphics today launches its debut animation software SGX, which generates facial animation from audio.
The Coalition, a Microsoft Studio, is the first company to license the groundbreaking software, animating over 35,000 lines of dialogue in the critically acclaimed game Gears of War 4.

SGX has been licensed to a further three global studios, news of which is expected to be released in the new year.

SGX marks a step change in the games sector by bringing the quality of in-game animation close to the quality of handcrafted cut-scene animation.  The result of five years of research and development by Speech Graphics, SGX makes it possible for video game studios to execute large batches of facial animation of thousands of lines of dialogue in-house, using only audio recordings, without needing to outsource to specialists.

Based in Scotland, Speech Graphics has an international reputation for extraordinary advances in audio-driven animation and motion technology, providing facial animation for the video games industry and working with multinational companies like Warner Brothers and global artists like Kanye West.

SGX delivers an immersive experience for the gamer.  SGX processes audio files and transcripts into facial animation, creating audio-generated facial animation that is high-quality and scalable across large volumes of dialogue.

Michael Berger, CTO and co-founder of Speech Graphics, explains: “Automatic, accurate lip sync is one of the holy grails of computer facial animation.  Our task is to create the impression that the animated face you see is the source of the sound you hear.  This illusion is notoriously difficult to achieve: the movements of speech are fast, complex and subtle and the viewer is highly sensitive to any mismatch between face and the voice.

David Coleman, Animation Director of Gears of War 4, commented: “Speech Graphics provided us with a robust system for automatically creating quality facial animation for the many thousands of lines of gameplay dialogue in Gears of War 4. We found the people at Speech Graphics to be very responsive and helpful in us achieving our goals.”

“SGX goes beyond good lip sync. Speech contains energy and emotion, and that too can be decoded from the voice and synchronized in the face. Using all available acoustic information, our algorithms drive not just the mouth but the entire face from audio input, from syllables to scowls.”

Speech Graphics delivers accurate and expressive facial animation. Emotional impact comes through very strongly in both the upper and lower face. Speech Graphics technology captures the intensity of every syllable and animates eyebrows, eyes, lips, jaw, cheeks and even tongue. 

Speech Graphics has a unique fusion of expertise in speech technology and computer animation found nowhere else in the world. The team brings together decades of research into machine learning, speech recognition, phonetics and computer graphics to solve what is an interdisciplinary problem.

Speech Graphics is on track to become the main provider of lip-sync and facial animation – a sector forecast to reach over $500 million (£375m) – to the global video game market. Speech Graphics currently employs eight staff and has plans to recruit three more in the year ahead. 

For further information visit: www.speech-graphics.com

Train2Game News Descendent Studios open source UE4 plugins


Descendent Studios, makers of Descent: Underground, announced the open-source release of several Unreal Engine 4 plugins they developed for the game.
The studio rolled out their GitHub repository on the heels of last week’s announcement that Descent: Underground won an Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) Fund grant from Razer. Descent: Underground was the first high-end action title to natively support all of the major desktop VR headsets: OSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.

“We use open-source tools and libraries in the development of Descent: Underground,“ said Descendent Studios’ CTO, Jason “Stormwind” Spangler. “We wanted to give something back to the development community by making some of the code we’ve created available.”

Among the new open-source offerings for Unreal Engine 4 is “Blinken,” which adds support for color-changing peripherals like Razer’s Chroma line, AlienFX, Logitech G in both Blueprint and C++. Other plugins facilitate XMPP chat support, more robust configuration menus, and ping time displays. The repository also features contributions, additions, and fixes to a number of other open-source projects, such as the OSVR-Unreal plugin, nodervisor, discord-xmpp, and more. Descendent’s GitHub repository is available at https://github.com/DescendentStudios.

The Early Access version of Descent: Underground is available at http://www.descentunderground.com, Steam, and other online resellers. The game already features a number of multiplayer competitive and cooperative game modes, among them a horde-style “Survival” mode, and a tongue-in-cheek capture-the-flag mode called “Miner Mayhem”. Single-player “Survival” and “Vs. Bots” modes allow offline play in advance of the upcoming storyline campaign.

Descent: Underground is also bundled with the OSVR HDK2 VR headset now through Sept. 19, while stocks last at http://www.razerzone.com/store/hdk2.

Train2Game News Insomnia58 confirms Microsoft

Multiplay, the company behind the largest gaming festival in the UK has today revealed the games Microsoft will be showcasing at Insomnia58 this August bank holiday.  
The blockbuster titles join an already exciting line-up, making this summer’s event the best place for fans to try the latest games.

Upcoming releases from Microsoft’s biggest franchises, all highlights of its E3 presentation, will be available to play for the first time in the UK, including Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and the latest zombie epic, Dead Rising 4. All Titles will be exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, with the majority being part of the Xbox Play Anywhere programme.

Gears of War 4, the cover based shooter, features an all new cast of characters, including JD Fenix, the son of the legendary Marcus Fenix. Set 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, the newest instalment in the franchise is set to be a huge hit with Xbox fans.

Insomnia58 will be the first time driving game fans in the UK will be able to experience the fast-paced action of Forza Horizon 3, experience thrilling racing, addictive gameplay and stunning graphics.

The Xbox One timed exclusive, Dead Rising 4, due for release later in December, will also be at Insomnia58, giving fans of the ever popular zombie-smashing genre exclusive access to the hotly anticipated game, months before its release.

Additional titles on display include Remedy’s Quantum Break, fighting classic Killer Instinct as well as the exciting new Xbox exclusive action-adventure Recore. Microsoft is also bringing the latest details on Indie games such as Cuphead, Everspace, Raiders of the Broken Planet and The Turing Test. 

Insomnia58 is taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from 26-29 August 2016, with day tickets available online from £25: https://insomniagamingfestival.com/tickets/.

Train2Game News BioShock Remastered

​It’s been nine years since Irrational Games and 2K took you on a terrifying journey to the depths of the underwater city of Rapture with BioShock. Five years since you returned to Rapture in BioShock 2. Three years since you grabbed a skyhook and sailed across the floating city of Columbia in BioShock Infinite. And on September 13, 2016 (September 15 in Australia and September 16 internationally), you can relive these award-winning adventures or experience them for the very first time remastered for current-gen consoles and digital PC with BioShock: The Collection.
BioShock: The Collection announcement trailer: https://youtu.be/cnB3efE0VLI

Countless fans have asked for this since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One arrived – and we listened! Working with Blind Squirrel Games, we’ve remastered BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC making them look better than ever*. BioShock: The Collection brings the three titles together for the first time, complete with all single-player DLC** and a never-before-seen video series, “Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock,” which includes insights from Ken Levine.

If you’ve never experienced the series before, now is the time to play it and see for yourself why the award-winning BioShock franchise has topped countless “Best-Of” lists and garnered more than 125 awards including two BAFTA honors, as well as many Best of E3, Best of Gamescom, and Game of the Year accolades from respected outlets such as IGN, GameSpot, Game Informer, and many more . The weapons, plasmids, levels, and character models that shocked you years ago have been reskinned and retextured to look better than ever. On top of that, all single-player DLC created for all three games comes loaded in one package. The bundled content for BioShock: The Collection includes:

·          BioShock

o   The video series, “Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock,” featuring Ken Levine, creative director on BioShock and BioShock Infinite and Shawn Robertson, animation lead on BioShock and animation director on BioShock Infinite.

o   Museum of Orphaned Concepts: Walk through a Rapture-inspired virtual museum that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at discarded concepts that never made it into the original game.

o   Challenge Rooms: Outside the story of BioShock, tackle puzzles, splicers and Big Daddies. And achievements, of course.

·         BioShock 2 (Multiplayer will not be included)

o   Minerva’s Den: A self-contained BioShock story, presenting a side of Rapture you’ve never seen before. Use expanded combat abilities with the experimental Ion Laser and chaotic Gravity Well Plasmid, unique to Minerva’s Den, as you face off against the Lancer Big Daddy.

o   Protector Trials: Take control of an Alpha Series Big Daddy woken out of hibernation just before the events of BioShock 2.

·         BioShock Infinite

o   Burial at Sea – Episode 1 & 2 Add-On Packs: This major two-part DLC pack completes the BioShock trilogy by taking the series back to where it all began. Return to Rapture just before the events of the original BioShock!

o   Clash in the Clouds Add-On Pack: Face 60 waves of challenges across four additional maps for leaderboard glory and unlock areas to explore in The Columbian Archaeological Society hub museum.

o   Columbia’s Finest Pack: Combines the contents of the Industrial Revolution Pack and the Upgrade Pack and includes 500 Silver Eagles, five Lock Picks, six unique Gear items, and two weapon upgrades: Comstock’s China Broom Shotgun and Comstock’s Eagle Eye Sniper Rifle.

Remember: A man chooses. A slave obeys. So, would you kindly follow the new @BioShock handle on Twitter, visit us on Facebook or go to 2k.com/bioshock and prepare for a remastered BioShock experience?

BioShock: The Collection for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC will be available in North America on September 13, Australia on September 15, and internationally on September 16.