Train2Game News Northern Exposure

Secret Sauce, producers of Northern Exposure, are thrilled to announce their day-long games event will return for its third instalment on the 27th February at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead’s thriving digital quarter.

Cumron Ashtiani, Founder at Atomhawk, will be speaking at February’s conference and said “I’m delighted to have been asked to get involved in the latest Northern Exposure event. October’s event was a great opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with so many people who are passionate about the games industry. I’m looking forward to returning in February to follow up on my previous talk about the highs and lows of growing a business and to meet with more great people”.

Northern Exposure will be partnering with UKIE to deliver a well-rounded day of discussions including a keynote courtesy of Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO at UKIE. She said, “The games industry all over the UK is of vital importance to the creative industries and tech economies in the UK, but also globally. Northern Exposure is a great opportunity to discuss how we can continue to grow by helping local studios and developers access the opportunities the global digital economy offers, as well as inspire new ideas that will shape the industry in the years to come.”

The Northern regions of the UK have a long and proud history of excellence in the games industry and Northern Exposure is a celebration of regional success, as well as an opportunity for local studios and developers to hear from national and international industry experts.

“It’s wonderful to see the local games community come together for Northern Exposure; this is our third instalment and the talks are always super inspiring and informative”, said Katy Reilly, Project Manager at Secret Sauce. “Northern Exposure emulates the region’s famous GameHorizon Conference by bringing together local speakers as well as guests from the wider games sector. It’s a pleasure to produce an event like this and put focus on creating something which is valuable to the community and shines a light on what’s happening in the region.”

This one-day event features talks from business owners, industry leaders, professionals and experts, sharing personal stories of success, failure and lessons learned. Hear expert tips and nuggets of knowledge to inspire your own business and games. There are plenty of opportunities to network throughout the day, followed by a drinks party in the evening.

Bob Makin, Managing Director at SockMonkey, will be making a return in February to host the event and guide attendees through a full day of exciting talks and discussions. “It’s great to be asked back to host Northern Exposure again” said Bob, “we’ve got such a fantastic gaming and interactive scene up here in the North East. It’s wonderful to have an event where we can shout about what we do up here and all the great games that are developed by ridiculously talented people. I can’t wait!”.

Secret Sauce is also delighted to welcome Escape Technology on board as Networking Sponsor for Northern Exposure; Neil Parmar, Account Director at Escape Technology said, “events like Northern Exposure are vital for the continued development of the games industry. We’re thrilled to be a part of the community and look forward to sharing our insights into creative CG technologies”.

Early bird tickets are available now at £25.00 which is a whopping 50% discount on the general admission tickets. Be quick though, as the early-bird offer ends on January 27th.

Tickets can be purchased through the eventbrite page:

Keep up to date with future announcements on the website:

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 19.04.13

Connor AdamsIt is the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game end of week round up!

The first bit of news this weeks come with the release of Injustice: Gods Among Us, the new DC Universe fighting game. Train2Game student Connor Adams did some of the concept art for the game at the company he works at Atomhawk in Newcastle. Congratulations Connor! You can view some of his art work, which I highly suggest, in the following link:

The Pokémon Company International recently revealed a mysterious new Pokémon that looks strangely familiar to Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo. Nintendo have now confirmed that this new Pokémon is connect to Mewtwo! How this connection will play out when Pokémon X and Pokémon Y launch in October is still to be confirmed. You can enjoy a short clip, that makes the connection clear, here:

Bethesda have recently uploaded a couple of six second long clips to the video sharing site, Vine. These little teaser clips had the internet buzzing about what could be coming. It has now been announced that it is the new game from Resident Evil creator, Shinji Mikami. Mikami’s studio Tango Gameworks will reveal ‘project Zwei’ via a debut trailer set for release at 5:00 a.m. Pacific / 8:00 a.m Eastern. Mikami has previously described Zwei as “a true survival horror” in which the player “confronts and overcomes fear”. Mikami has also said this will be his last game as director.

Activision social media manager Dan Amrich has said he expects 2013’s entry in the Call of Duty series, which is most likely going to be Modern Warfare 4, to be revealed no later than E3 in early June. Amrich noted that the last two Call of Duty games were revealed in May 2011 and May 2012. It has been rumoured that Microsoft are revealing their next Xbox on May 21 so it is likely the new COD will be announced around the same time.

Finally, Microsoft reports that Xbox Live now has around 46 million members worldwide. This, is according to the firm’s Earnings Release for FY13 Q3. It represents an 18 per cent increase from the prior year period. Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of $2.53 billion, an increase of 56 per cent from the prior year period. Microsoft sold 1.3 million Xbox 360s during the quarter, which is down 9 percent from the same period but it is still impressive that so many consoles are still being sold, even at the end of this generations cycle.

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Connor Adams

Connor AdamsTrain2Game spoke to Connor Adams this week about how I went from a Train2Game student to working at Atomhawk up in Newcastle.

Connor is a brilliant Artist you can check out his DeviantART page HERE or his portfolio HERE.

You can listen to Connors radio interview here –

or read the transcript below:

Hello I’m Connor, I live in Gateshead but I’m from Weymouth and I took the Art & Animation course.

Hi Connor, how you doing bud?
I’m not too bad man, how are you?

I’m excellent, thank you
Awesome, it’s lovely to hear your voice again.

Yours too! So tell me, what’s your story Connor? What are the past experiences that have shaped your life to make you who you are now?
Oh wow, that is a deep question. I suppose I started off by playing a lot of video games when I was young, like everyone. I took quite a weird path, I left school after finishing my GCSE’s and I just started painting and drawing all day because I wanted to design all these games but I didn’t really know what path to take. So I was painting and things like that and then I saw the Train2Game course and joined up on that and I attended a lot of Game Jams whilst studying everyday on my own time and getting all that down. Then I applied for the internship up here and here I am. I’m sure there is probably a lot more to it, but that’s all I can remember for now!

So where is it you applied for an internship for?
I applied up to Atomhawk. It’s based in the Northern Design Centre in Newcastle.

What kind of games do they make there?
The guys at the studio, all of us are concept artists and illustrators, so we have no programmers, we have no designers or anything like that. So people come to us and they out source us for concept art and illustration. We do a lot of stuff before games are released like we worked on Mortal Kombat. We are working on a lot of stuff right now but none of it I can say because it’s all under NDA, which is typical. It’s a lot of stuff like Sony and Warner Brothers, people like that. So it’s quite big clients but we don’t actually work on the games, we just make the concepts and illustrations.

What is the most dramatic or exciting thing you have done in your life previous to being at Atomhawk?
Oh god! All these questions Mark, I’m not sure I’m ready for them! I think the most scaring and exciting thing, was leaving school. Trying to take things in to my own hands. From leaving School and going straight to Train2Game that made things a lot easier. Going down that personal route was quite scary at first.

I know you were also part of Derp Studios as well. How was that experience?
I was part of Derp Studios, yeah. That was really, really great. I mean the Game Jam and the meeting with people and going up to Luton and doing all that was just great. The whole experience was fun and these guys I still talk to a lot of them today, Me and Amanda are mostly talking a lot and it’s great. It was a great bonding experience. It was great for contacts, it was great for skills, great experiences. Well I met you up at The Gadget Show which was a lovely experience.

It was indeed! We have been firm friends ever since.
Yeah absolutely, it was really great.

We touched on it before, what is your reason for getting into the gaming industry particularly?
It’s just games you know? It’s like what kind of guy can say they go to work and draw men shooting aliens and you know, Zombies and Monsters! It’s all fun and games. It is serious at the same time but it’s all play. It’s hard work but it’s play. To get paid to do that is just fantastic.

When did you actually get the job at Atomhawk that you have now?
My internship was 3 months ago, so back in September, August was when I was applying and got the internship but a few weeks ago they offered me a junior position which is going to last 6 months which is fantastic.

So you get a nice job just in time for Christmas then?
Absolutely yeah which is a real relief as Christmas is a horrible time.

What is your greatest ambition?
Oh OK, well I guess just to be the best, like a Pokemon trainer! I gotta keep on going and hit the top of your field, maybe one day in the future I will have my own Graphic Novel and I’ll be working on some AAA games. I dunno the future is very unpredictable so it’s hard to say really.

Finally then, if you could work for any studio what so ever, what would you work for?
Actually, genuinely I would rather work for my self. I think I would rather get some of my closest friends and make my own studio and make the games that we love.

So we should probably start working on that soon then?

Thank you very much buddy!
No worries, cheers mate.