Train2Game News RealTimeVFX

VFX Luminaries have announced the launch of a brand new industry-driven community platform, RealTimeVFX.

Developed to open up the knowledge base, support, best practices and resources to a previously underserviced group, the VFX community will throw a spotlight of discussion and education for artists working with video games, VR, AR, mobile, hologram, theme park and upcoming technologies. 

RealTimeVFX.com is available and free to sign up for VFX professionals today.

With a focus of giving back to the community, the platform is spearheaded by some of the most acclaimed names in interactive VFX including Keith Guerrette (Uncharted Series, The Last of Us), Jason Keyser (League of Legends), Drew Skillman (Tiltbrush Creator, Google VR) and Seth Hall (Star Wars, Battlefield Hardline), all of whom are highly proactive and are breaking new ground within this space.  RealTimeVFX will also provide online and offline events, as well as partner with market-leading companies and products as part of the platform.  

RealTimeVFX co-Founder Keith Guerrette commented: “As VFX continues to be in high-demand across video games and VR/AR studios, each with their own bespoke technologies and challenges, there’s been a growing need to solidify our insights and efforts.  Our hope is that the platform will help unify our community long-term and facilitate a more positive and collaborative approach to support VFX artists and technology at both an indie and big studio level.”

Train2Game News Student studio on the hunt for Artists

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Train2Game student Josh Procter and his friend William Marsden have created their own studio and are now on the hunt for artists to join them

Friends Josh and Will have created SVS games and released their first game.  They are now looking to recruit team members to work on the next seven titles they have planned.

Josh is currently studying Train2Game which has helped their collaboration. Both plan to use the studio to work together but also have individual aspirations in the games industry. They are interested in the creative side of gaming and love to come up with ideas.

Since releasing their first game, Marathon, both are really excited with what they created and what more they can do. They sort industry advice in creating Marathon and it was received well. The studio was created in 2015 but the pair have collaborated for some time. Both live in West Yorkshire.  

The guys are now on the lookout for artists to join the team as they have a growing list of games planned for the future. They are on the lookout for people who are: productive, passionate and have personality.

Train2Game interviewed the guys to hear about their projects

Please introduce yourselves, what course you are on and where you are from?  

Josh: Hi. My name is Josh Procter. I’m from Bradford, West Yorkshire. I’m just on the back end of the T2G Designer course.

Will: My name is William Marsden, I’m from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. I graduated Teesside University in November 2014 with a BA in Computer Games Design (2:1)

What is the name of your studio and who are the members?

Will: Myself and Josh came together in early 2015 to form SVS Games.

Josh: Yeah. Me and Will have been working together for a while but officially SVS Games was created early 2015.

What was the idea behind the name of the studio?

Josh: SVS means Samurai vs Spartan. Because Will is totally into Murmillo fighting and I am a born Samurai with my years of sword training.

Will: Well it’s our aim to make the kinds of games that we both loved as kids. SVS Games is a way we can showcase our game development skills to attract potential employers, whilst still trying to make our mark on the Indie game world.

Are you enjoying Train2Game and are your studies going well?

Josh: I’ll field this. I’m loving the T2G course, but I’m a very busy guy. The only reason I haven’t finished yet!

What do you hope to gain from taking the course?

Josh: Well, I personally want to write the games myself. And this has given me the skills to write better and create them. Which teams me and Will perfectly.

What is your dream in terms of working in the games industry?

Will: Well I have lots of ideas for pretty huge games. So ideally I’d want to be in a position where I can bring those ideas to life, a creative direction position seems the best position to do that.

Josh: I just really want to be the writing force behind those games. I’m an ideas man. I drift off and let myself come up with new ideas.

So what has it been like completing your first game?

Will: It has been fantastic, We have been working together to make some really involved design work for potential future games, I received some advice from a local Indie Developer to just release something small to get our names out there. Once it was out there and we got over the shock that something we had worked on was out there for everyone, the ball really started to roll and we’re well on the way to our next release.

Josh: It has been kick-butt honestly. I love working with Will and to be able to sit there after it was out, we both sort of looked at each other like “wow, we have a game for sale”
Big stuff man. Big stuff.

Can you tell us about Marathon, what were the challenges in creating this game?

Will: I think my biggest issue was keeping it small. Josh and I have this terrible problem where we keep trying to add too much to something and make more work for ourselves.

Josh: Me and Will cannot help adding more. We sat there with a product we were happy with and then went. LET’S DO MORE!
 
How has it been received?

Will: Actually pretty well considering it was just a quiet release by two guys who hadn’t really done anything before. I keep checking it and we have a nice steady stream of viewers and downloads. We are yet to have a negative comment, so I count that as a win. 

Josh: It’s going nice actually. Neither of us was expecting to make the next big thing. But we wanted to get our names out there and this game is a really nice little start.

Why did you choose to release on Windows?

Will: Honestly because it would be the quickest turnover from development to release. We’re currently looking at releasing on other platforms, including android via Google Play.

And what are you working on next, I hear you have another title in the pipeline?

Will: I like to stay busy and yeah, Josh and I are always working on something. I think the current count is at 6 or 7 games planned for the future or in development at the moment.

Josh: When we started, we had one MASSIVE game in the pipeline, with completed design documents and pitch documents. But we realized it’s far too big a project to start with. We came up with 3 small games to start with, which turned to 4 and so on. I think the count is 7 at the moment. But last night me and Will discussed another one.

And you are on the hunt for developers to join the team and assist with the project, artists and animators?

Will: Most definitely, Artists and Animators are always in demand in the games industry and we’re no different.
 
Josh: In the future, yeah I’d love to take on some new people! But I think we’re just starting out and maybe another one or two people to work with. They’d have to be into swords.

What are you looking for in new team members? What character traits?

Will: Someone who works hard, likes to swap and share ideas and someone who is above all else, passionate about gaming.
 
Josh: I think after years of work. I cannot stand people who half-arse jobs. I really don’t want to sound like a grumpy boss but people have to pull their weight. I just finished moving and lost my entire internet but I still did everything I could to push our projects forward.
Aside from that, they’d need a great personality and to have a laugh.

Is joining the studio a good opportunity, and why?

Will: I would definitely say so. Opportunities to work with other game developers is beneficial for everyone involved, we all share the work load and each get an equal share of the credit. Most employers look for people who have game development experience. The best way by far to do that is to release some games.

Josh: Exactly. I’d love to have some other people working with us. It’s always a good idea to make your own things. Think how indie developers get massive. It’s all about content and quality. You put your heart into a game and it might end up being the next big thing. I think for myself and Will, it’s not about getting famous or super rich, it’s about creating the games that people will lose themselves in. I can’t get over massive moments in games that I go back to thinking about years later. I still have the DmC3 cut scenes on my phone that I watch monthly.

What are the plans for the studio?  

Will: We are both going to continue to working on games together until we catch the eye of an employer or we start making enough money to make a career of making games for SVS Games full time.

Josh: Keep releasing content. Keep having fun.

http://svsgames.itch.io/
Http:// joshprocterdesign.wix.com/joshprocterdesign
http://svsgamesmaster.wix.com/svsgames
www.train2game.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com and www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Student looking to swap the broom for the paintbrush

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Michael Bird is a supervisor at an industrial cleaning firm but his dream is to ditch the cleaning and move into creating art in videogames

Since finishing the Art and Animation course with Train2Game Michael – who is 41 and lives in Kettering – has been on the hunt for a job in games but not had any luck so far. He firmly believes that given the first chance at a studio, he could develop into a great asset for any company.

Michael is from a family of artists, his father is a traditional artist and his mother is a colourist. Michael trained in sculpture and art before moving into video games.

He had a really positive experience with Train2Game and now wants to go professional. He’s now contributing to student studios and also created his own website to show off his work.

‘My name is Michael Bird I am an Artist, Animator. I have spent the last five years or so dedicating my creativeness to the gaming world with the dream of one day being able to work within a gaming studio and help make the games that are yet to come.’

‘I finished my Train2Game course in May last year. I would say that the overall experience with Train2Game was good; they always tried their best to help me with any issues or problem that I may have had. They wouldn’t tell me how to do it instead they would guide me in the right direction so you would end up learning what I needed to know myself, in truth I saw this as a better way to find the solution to whatever it was that I needed help with.’

‘I got into gaming art as a sort of natural progression to being a traditional artist as in using pencil, paints and clay. All my life I have been playing video games, from the modern masterpieces of today right the way back to the originals like Pong and Pac-Man, and everything in-between. It has always plagued my mind as to how it was done; those images that you see on the screen that excite the eye and make you want to play more. How do they do it, how I would love to find out and maybe see if I could do the same. It wasn’t until I got the flyer from Train2Game that I saw my chance to follow the dream of learning how to make what I had seen on the screen. So the opportunity that was presented was taken and I ran with it to a new horizon that has beckoned me for so long.’
 
‘Working with sculpture,  I think that it has helped me immensely as most of the time with gaming art you have to think in three dimensions as you would do when you sculpt. You get to understand movement, structure and how something should look from all sides. It’s like a 360 degree canvas where every point has to look right from every angle. So really what I create within a computer is just a digital version of what I would create in clay.’

‘To create something out of nothing never gets old to me be it stills or animation, they are both as exciting as each other. If a had to choose then it would have to be stills. More to the point of the environment and the props that populate it is it internal or external. . To create a beautiful game you need to create a beautiful environment to play that game in. You could create the best most iconic character in the world with the most stunning and realistic animation ever but if the gaming environment they live in isn’t believable then it will never work.’

‘Both my parents are artists in their own right. My father is a traditional artist where as my mother is more of a colourist. At first they thought I wasn’t serious but as time progressed they began to see that this was something that I craved with every ounce of my being. Sometimes they would say I should get a proper boring job and forget my dream but it never deterred me from this path to my true calling.’
 
‘I would love to say that my art is my job but unfortunately that is not the case yet. Despite the constant application for art positions within the gaming industry I have so far been unsuccessful in my efforts. All I want and need is that one person to take that chance on me. In the meantime bills have to be paid so I am a supervisor for an industrial cleaning company, but when I’m not working there I’m always creating pieces for my website michaelbird74.com it’s there to showcase my work for any potential employers.’
 
‘The last piece that I have only just finished was a Private Detective’s Office set in the style of 30’s America. It was more a case of being able to show that can create an interior set piece and fill it with relevant props and create the right mood with the lighting and textures. Since then I have two projects that will be starting on, one will be a Deep Forest Ruins scene and the other will be a Derelict Lighthouse. I haven’t decided which one I will start first so you will just have to wait and see by checking out the Work in Progress on my website.’
 
‘I think that Train2Game has taught me apart from the skills that I will need to fulfil my dreams, something that I will never stop learning as you can never know everything. Also I would say that they taught me to never give up no matter how hard and stressful it can get, there’s always a way to figure something out and make it better than you thought which in turn makes you better at what you do.’

‘What can I offer a professional studio? That is a difficult question as I could just put the usual things like my skills, my passion for gaming and so forth. In truth all I can offer is myself and what I have learnt from my life experience. How I see the world around me, how I have played so many games in my lifetime that they have all influenced the way I create my art, I have seen how the industry has grown and developed over the years to give me the foundation that has helped me to the stage that I am now. I have followed the way gaming itself has changed with the technology and it has made me realise that I can create anything and everything that I ever thought possible within a game as well as some that I could never have dreamed of. Just to have that power at my fingertips fills me with excitement and a driven determination to be the best gaming artist I can be. That’s what I can offer a professional studio, sounds a bit cheesy I know but it’s the best way I can describe it.’ 

‘In truth there is no one studio that I would like to work for or with, for me it’s all about creating beautiful game art, be it for a mobile, handheld or a AAA title. When I’m playing a game all I can think about is I really want to be the guy who build that, the guy who will spend hour after hour to get it looking and acting right so it fit the game. I often study the screen to figure out how they did it and see how I would go about creating it.’
 
‘I would say that my long term aims are to keep creating more and more stunning work, to learn new skills and improve what I already have, To maybe end up being a senior artist within a studio, that would be nice but for a start I just want to get my foot through the door and then see where it takes me. I will never stop doing what I love doing at the end of the day I’m an artist and the desire to create, build, sculpt, paint and draw will only die when I do. Being a videogame artist is where I see myself and I will do everything I possibly can to get there.’

Found out more about Michael’s work at michaelbird74.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com and www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News A Warm Welcome to Mark Kington

Our very own Mark Kington is joining the Train2Game Online Team replacing Danny as our team blogger.

We would like to thank the amazing number of people that applied for the position. With so many GREAT candidates it was a really tough process, but after being grilled by three of us at the Luton Office. Mark, also a T2G Student, is the victor.

After a period of training, so don’t bug him for now, Mark will take charge of Train2Game News, Facebook and other social media, plus Train2Game Student Radio. Mark will also become an Admin of the T2G Forum and work with the Forum Admin Team.

If you fancy being one of his first victims, I mean guests, on Train2Game Student radio drop a note to suggestionbox@train2game.com giving a little detail about things you would like to talk about.

Again congrats to Mark and WELCOME aboard.

Train2Game Student Diaries Matty WS weeks 36 and 37

Week 36
On week 36 of my diaries now! That’s a lot of weeks so far, and yet everything is still going swimmingly well. The new project is underway now and we are all working hard on it. My Sea Park is doing pretty well too. This week has been quiet though, since Jonny and Ben are no longer here and there are some people away too, making the office a lot more empty than normal. I’ve been quietly working away doing what I’ve needed to do. Not much of an eventful week really.
I have also been going through the course a little faster, currently verging on the end of section 2, so far the course has provided some insightful knowledge into my role as an artist, I look forward to seeing what section three will teach me, which I should be on very soon if I keep up the pace I am at. I have spoken to quite a few students on the artist course and none that I know of are on section 3, so I have no idea what it’s going to be like! Should be interesting
Week 37
This week so far has been a bit of a headache week, as I try to fix a problem we are having with axis translates vertex values, local and world pivot locations and parent/child objects,
since all of these values display differently from Maya to Unity or Max. This is probably the most confusing problem I’ve come across since I started modelling eight years ago. Other than that issue my week has been ok! We have started doing regular weekly sprint meetings again which is good, because it means I can be a little more organised with my work and it also means I always know what I am doing.
I’ve also now done the section 2 exam for the A&A course, which makes me on section 3 in five working days! This also means I am as far in to the course as Craig Moore is into the
designer course, he started the course about a week before I did so I’m not doing too badly I don’t think. That being said, how far people are into the course is not a rating for how good they are at their roles, there is a lot more information to learn that may not be on the courses that people can acquire through experience or looking up online for info or tutorials.
http://www.train2game.com

Train2Game News: Blitz artists hosting ‘meet the experts’ web chat tonight

Leamington Spa studio Blitz will allow you to get an insight into the life of a games industry artist & animator when two of their team host a live webchat at 6:30pm this evening.

It’s the latest Blitz Games Studios’ ‘meet the experts’ sessions, which last month saw two programmers offering advice to aspiring game developers.  It provides a great opportunity for Train2Game students to get advice from industry professionals.

“Two of Blitz’s experienced artists from the company’s R&D and game development teams will be sharing their knowledge on a variety of topics aimed at aspiring newcomers to the industry as well as experienced artists looking to further their career in a new field or specialism.” reads the announcement from Blitz.

If you want to submit a question to the Blitz artists before the session begins at 6:30pm today, get in touch with them via email, Twitter or Facebook.

To take part in the web chat, visit the Blitz meet the experts website from 6pm this evening.

There’s more advice from industry professionals about getting into the games industry here on The Train2Game Blog.

Will you get involved in the web chat? What will you ask the Blitz artists?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Lionhead provide advice to artists on getting ahead in the industry

Fable IIITrain2Game Art & Animation students should definitely read the latest article in Develop Online’s ‘New Year, New Job’ feature, as Lionhead Head of Art Paul McLaughlin gives tips on how to be a great artist in a game development studio.

His advice for artists is as follows, and it could be especially useful to Train2Game students who are currently on Train2Game industry experience placements.

• Turn up for work and be nice to people.
• Make your boss’s life easier, not harder.
• Take a deep interest in whatever you’re working on. Do your damnedest to understand the art/game direction.
• Find out what you’re good at that is useful to the team and try to excel in that area.
• Keep your skills honed. No matter how senior you are, you still need to show ‘potential’.
• Work with the production team. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and if you’re struggling then flag it early.
• Don’t let your ego get in the way of doing what’s required.

It’s excellent advice for Train2Game Artists, who along with all other Train2Game students should keep an eye on Develop Online’s jobs feature for more excellent advice from industry professionals.

For more great advice from Lionhead, Train2Game students should check out this Train2Game Blog post in which Peter Molyneux offers guidance about getting into the games industry. He also reveals that many Lionhead staff started their careers as QA Testers.

What are your thoughts on the advice from Lionhead?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Develop Online]

Train2Game interview: Train2Game game developer Paul Cullum from Merthyr Tydfil

Train2Game student Paul Cullum from Merthyr Tydfil – AKA Superfurry on the Train2Game forum – is on the Train2Game Game Developer course. In an interview with Train2Game Radio, he tells us why he chose to study with Train2Game, how he fits it around his life as a musician and what he hopes to achieve in the games industry.

Read the interview on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game Scribd page. Alternatively, you can listen to it via Train2Game Radio. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

OK Paul, what first got you into video games?

Probably my father. I’ve been playing computer games since about 5 on the Spectrum, that’s where I started. Manic Miner, that was the game that got me into it.

What made you decide you wanted to forge a career in the games industry?

Well I’ve always been into games as I said and I used to programme on the Spectrum and on the Amiga. I’ve had pretty much every console that’s come out.

So what got you into programming?

I just had the brain for it I suppose. I used to love programming little things on the Spectrum, little games from magazines, putting in thousands of code and then…it didn’t work! And then finding the problem. But I’ve never really programmed any games because I didn’t know how to really.

And is this why you decided to join the Train2Game Game Developer course?

It is, yeah.

What does your partner think about being on a Train2Game course?

She’s OK with it, she thinks it’s good. I mean she’s seen some of the programmes I’ve written. Her sister works for Nintendo advertising the games, the new Zelda game I think she was advertising that.

Tell us a little about yourself, what do you do?

I’m a musician, I play in pubs and bars, and I’ve played in Europe: Denmark, Sweden, places like that.

How do you find fitting the Train2Game course around the rest of your life then?

I’ve been ill for the last couple of months, in hospital, so I haven’t had much of a chance to get into it lately.

What’s been your favourite part of the Train2Game course so far?

I’ve not been able to get stuck into it that much, but just making little games from the first book, just making the little platform games, which I enjoyed doing because I love platform games. That’s my favourite part so far. And I’ve got a bit of knowledge of C++ and other languages already so I’m sure I’ll get to a point where it’ll fry my brain, but it’s going alright so far.

And what do you want to achieve with Train2Game this year?

I want to put together a portfolio, learn more C++, incorporate that with other languages and learn databases and things like that and how to put them in games.  Just to get a head start to get me into the industry.

How useful have you found the Train2Game forum so far?

I’ve met a couple of people actually. I met up with a few people in Cardiff a few months ago, and they want to work on a game with me when we’ve got further into the course.

How do you see yourself entering the games industry, would you like to get a role at an established developer, or do you want to form your own studio with other Train2Game students?

An indie done would be perfect because I’ve got some ideas once I get my head round stuff, and the two lads I met, they’ve got some good ideas for games so hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can develop it more.  It’s just ideas at the moment.

Can you see your music career and games career joining together at all?

Possibly, yeah. I use a lot of software to record stuff at home so it’s pretty easy to knock up a little background music for a game.

What would your ideal job in the industry be?

Just being a part of a team really, learning new things and getting better.

Thanks for your time Paul.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game at gamescom Neven Dravinski Producer UFC Undisputed 3 talks to Danny Palmer

Train2Game at gamescom Neven Dravinski Producer UFC Undisputed 3 talks to Danny Palmer and shares the shortage of QA testers in the industry!

Train2Game at gamescom John Block Producer of Metro Last Light talks to Danny Palmer

Train2Game at gamescom John Block Producer of Metro Last Light talks to Danny Palmer and explains how he got into the industry and what you should do to get started.