Train2Game News Autodesk Stingray

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A new games engine was announced from the creators of Maya and 3DS Max.

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Europe 2015, Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced that its new Stingray game engine will be available to game developers worldwide beginning August 19, 2015. Later this summer, Autodesk will also offer Autodesk Maya LT Desktop Subscription customers access to Autodesk Stingray as part of their subscription.

Built on the powerful, data-driven architecture of the Bitsquid engine, which Autodesk acquired in 2014, Stingray is a comprehensive new platform for making 3D games. The engine supports a host of industry-standard game development workflows and includes powerful connectivity to Autodesk 3D animation software that simplifies game development across a wide range of platforms.

“Between Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and the proliferation of mobile platforms, the games industry is undergoing a major transition, which poses new complexities for both AAA and indie game developers. Autodesk developed Stingray with these challenges in mind, and we’re excited to share its debut with the game developer community,” said Autodesk senior vice president, Media & Entertainment, Chris Bradshaw. “Stingray makes it easy and intuitive for artists with varying skill sets and programming expertise to create the next generation of 3D blockbuster games, entertainment and even architecture.”

Stingray feature highlights include:

– Seamless Art-to-Engine Workflow: Import, create, iterate, test and review 3D assets and gameplay faster with a one-click workflow and live link between Stingray and Autodesk 3D animation software.

– Modern Data-Driven Architecture: A lightweight code base gives game developers the freedom to make significant changes to the engine and renderer without requiring source code access.

– Advanced Visuals and Rendering: Produce visually stunning games with a powerful rendering pipeline, physically-based shading, advanced particle effects, post processed visual effects, lightmap baking and a high-performance reflection system

– Proven Creative Toolset: Stingray includes proven solutions like Beast, HumanIK, Navigation, Scaleform Studio (UI technology built on Scaleform), FBX, Audiokinetic Wwise and NVIDIA PhysX.

– Versatile Game Logic Creation: Stingray includes a wide range of development tools, making game creation more accessible for game makers with varying levels of experience – including visual node-based-scripting and Lua scripting. C++ source code will also be available as an additional purchase upon request.

– Multiplatform Deployment and Testing: Quickly make and apply changes to gameplay and visuals across supported platforms: Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8, Oculus Rift DevKit 2, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.

Autodesk previewed Stingray at GDC 2015 earlier this year in San Francisco. Since then, game developers around the world have signed up for Autodesk’s beta program, shipped games using this technology and provided feedback including:

“Stingray’s data-driven architecture and flexibility have helped us build a broad portfolio of games, and quick iteration times for both code and content creators has boosted our productivity significantly. The engine has been a key success factor for us because we’re able to produce high quality games in a shortened timeframe. We’re excited to see how Autodesk will continue to evolve the engine,” shared Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark.

“We never know what kind of games we’re going to create, and the engine is good for that. It really allows us to just make anything. We can make an FPS or an RTS, or a top-down shooter, or a role-playing game, or whatever. It’s not tied to a specific genre,” explained Johan Pilestedt, CEO, Arrowhead Game Studios.

The Stingray engine can also be used in design environments and is an informative next step to further understand design data before anything is physically built. The engine’s real-time digital environment, on a powerful, data-driven architecture, is programmed to look and feel like the physical world. Through the high-end development tools and visual scripting system, customers can program objects, light effects, environmental elements, materials, and entourage elements to behave and react as they would in the physical world.

Connected to Autodesk 3ds Max, architecture, engineering and construction customers can import Autodesk Revit data into 3ds Max, add content to the 3ds Max scene and then place that scene in the Stingray engine to explore, animate, and interact in the designed space.

Autodesk Stingray runs on Windows and will be available via Autodesk Subscription starting August 19, 2015 for $30 US MSRP per month.

Later this summer, Autodesk plans to offer Maya LT Desktop Subscription customers access to the engine as part of Maya LT. For more details about Stingray, visit: www.autodesk.com/stingrayengine

Train2Game News CG Student Awards

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£240,000 worth of prizes and twenty five paid internships available to Train2Game Digital Artists in the CG Student Awards

Train2Game students asked to enter CG Student Awards by co- founder of the industry wide Computer Graphics competition. Interview with co-founder exclusively for Train2Game also tells students more about the competition.

The CG Student Awards are an annual independent event created by Games Developers, which showcase and reward excellence in computer graphics from students and recent graduates.

The Awards strive to create a platform for all aspiring digital artists to launch their careers, network with professionals, and connect with other passionate digital artists from around the world. The Awards are a chance to reward those studying Art while putting them in the spotlight of employers. 

This year there are over £240,000 in prizes available and twenty five paid internships, at companies including: Weta Digital, Epic Games, Moving Picture Company, and Double Negative. All entries to the competition receive an incredible software package worth £65. Entries also receive an industry approved rank for their submission and feedback from judges on their entry.

Train2Game spoke with CG Awards co-founder Alwyn Hunt to get his advice on what Train2Game students can gain from entering the competition.

Alwyn Hunt, co-founder, Sales and New Business:  “The CG Student Awards are a great stage for students to be able to compare themselves with their peers. We have some world class gaming studios involved with the Awards that are looking for students to work for them.”

“We created the awards, because we recognised the fact that there was no stage for student to be able to showcase their work. People are genuinely shocked when they see just how good student work can actually be – even we’re amazed each year with the quality coming through. It’s great to see, and that’s what the awards are all about – just showcasing the different talents from around the world and bringing it onto that global stage via the website, www.cgstudentawards.com.”

“The most important thing that students stand to gain is exposure on a global scale.  On top of that every person that enters gets a 1-month subscription to Digital Tutors, a 6-month Creative Cloud license from Adobe, and a 3-month website hosting package from SiteGround! Goodies worth £65.”

“Having something to work towards helps stop procrastination, and you learn so much in the process of getting your entry ready for competitions.  We put a lot of effort into organizing studios to offer internship to the winners.  We have a lot of big studios looking at the students work during the running of the Awards and we have found in the past that even students that don’t win, often get contacted by studios.”

The competition is now open for 2015, enter at www.cgstudentawards.com

Train2Game News CG Student Awards

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With less than a month to go before the CG Student Awards launches Autodesk wanted to let Train2Game students know about this year Awards and the fantastic opportunities open to them.

This year they have managed to negotiate with some of the world’s most respected VFX, Animation, and Gaming studios to offer up an insane amount of internships as prizes ($350k) for the 2015 CG Student Awards. Autodesk are proud to announce a total of 25 career launching internships available to win at locations all across the globe. Nowhere else you can win this type of experience, in any industry for that matter, and with the same calibre of studios.

A spokesman from Autodesk said “We are pumped, and honoured to know we will help 25 talented digital artists get to work alongside the best teams in the world, and on some of the biggest projects currently in production.”

The categories for 2015 are:
– Student of the Year (VFX/ANIM)
– Student of the Year (GAMES)
– Film of the Year
– Game of the Year
– People’s Choice
– Bootcamp Internship
– School of the Year.

Who is eligible to enter into the Awards:
Current and past students are eligible to enter into the Awards. Past students are only eligible if they have worked professionally. It’s more for the ones that have recently graduated and are looking to break into the industry.

Ambassador program:
Autodesk are also going to be running an Ambassador program for students to help spread the word about the Awards and get their friends involved, there are a whole bunch of prizes to give away to the winners. More information will be available on the website about the program and what they can do to earn those prizes.

The event runs from 4rd March 2015 until 19th June 2015 with entries closed 13th May 2015. The finalists willl bd announced 27th May 2015 and the winners announced 17th June 2015.

The site is currently unavailable but you can enter your email address to be notified  when the site goes live. You will then be able to apply and find out more.

Train2Game News Great British Summer Game Jam

Great British Summer Game JamMind Candy has partnered with Autodesk to encourage people to get into game development, promote the UK’s games industry and experiment with new technology and hardware in the first ever Great British Summer Game Jam.

The Jam will see development teams creating games around the “British Summer” theme to win a variety of prizes from the likes of Unity3d, Marmalade and PlayJam. Ukie is also supporting a special “Accessibility Award”, judged by accessibility consultant Ian Hamilton, for the game which is the most accessible to those with impairments and disabilities.

The Great British Summer Game Jam will run from Saturday 5th July to Sunday 6th July but teams will be encouraged to tinker with some of the new technology that Mind Candy has collected from various partners from Thursday 26th June to start preparing for their game. The technology for the jam is provided by partners Autodesk, Marmalade, Unity3d, Simplygon, Allegorithmic, PlayCanvas, PlayJam (GameStick), Simplygon and AMD. Anybody of any skill level can sign up, be it students or established developers, and take part remotely or in person at Mind Candy’s offices in East London, where jammers will be kept supplied with sustenance, funky office space, WiFi and power.

CTO of Mind Candy, Jeff Reynar said “At Mind Candy, we know from experience that a small game idea can turn into a massive break-out hit.  We love Game Jams and run them internally – they are a great way to discover and try out new ideas, or just to have fun! We are hugely excited to be hosting The Great British Game Jam in our London office and can’t wait to see what everyone creates!”

CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist said “We are really proud to be part of this fantastic initiative and to be supporting the Accessibility Award in particular. Jams like these are a great way to raise awareness around issues like accessibility and with today’s huge array of technology, tools, and ways to reach new audiences on different platforms, there has never been a more exciting time to make games. It will be fantastic to see what kind of creative and innovative projects come out of the Jam from some of the UKs best developers.”

The Jam kicks off with a briefing session and tech presentation at Mind Candy’s office today (Thursday 26th June). It will be recorded and put on online after for anybody who misses it. For more information or to register for the briefing session, follow this link – http://gbsgamejam.eventbrite.com

Train2Game News Autodesk drops price of Maya LT 2015

Maya LT 2015The 2015 edition of Maya LT has seen its price slashed by $20, making it more affordable to indie devs.

The animation and modelling software from Autodesk is now available for $30 per month, down from $50 – which, the company points out, is less than a dollar per day. Unless you’re in February, of course. In the UK, it now costs £25 per month.

Maya LT was first launched as an entry-level version of Maya, designed so that indie developers and smaller studios could afford one of Autodesk’s leading tools. The tools provider recently released Maya LT on Steam as well, allowing hobbyists to create their own content for titles like League of Legends.

This is the latest in a series of moves to make Autodesk’s products more accessible to indies.

Train2Game News Maya LT 2015 on Steam

Maya LT 2015Maya LT 2015 will be made available through Steam, Autodesk has announced. The feature set will allow Valve’s community of 65m gamers – as well as the developers and artists among them – use the animation and modelling tools to create 3D game assets.

These can then be used to personalise games and import user-created assets into compatible Steam titles, such as the hugely popular Dota 2. Assets created can also be used in any games users are developing.

Purchasing Maya LT through Steam will also give developers and gamers a full commercial Maya LT licence, allowing them to export any assets create with the tool to games for PC, console and mobile.

The licence will available to purchase through Steam on Tuesday, April 22nd.

“The Valve community is unique because it includes a very engaged mix of both gamers and developers working together to mod titles and generate content,” said Autodesk’s director of games solutions Frank Delise.

“We’re engaging with the community on day one by participating in forums, answering questions and offering custom tutorial content for Dota 2 fans. We can’t wait to try new things with the community and see how they push Maya LT to its limit and beyond.”

Train2Game News: Autodesk release Maya LT for Indie developers

AutodeskAutodesk has unveiled a new tool specifically targeted at indie developers. The 3D modelling and animation toolset is designed for developers working on mobile, PC and web, and can be integrated with game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine.

Maya LT includes a number of features such as enabling the creation of 3D assets of any size, with the ability to export FBX files containing up to 25,000 polygons per object.

The tech’s animation tools include a skeleton generation and inverse kinematics with Autodesk HumanIK, as well as viewport previews so developers can view assets as they would appear in-game. Other features also include lighting and texture baking, with developers able to use global illumination tool to create “realistic” lighting effects.

Autodesk’s latest tool will cost $795 per perpetual licence as oppose to the license for Maya which is almost $4,000. Short-term licenses are also available on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

“We see indie game developers as a key part of the industry, driving innovative new production techniques and gameplay,” said Autodesk Media & Entertainment VP Chris Bradshaw.

“The market is fiercely competitive, and Maya LT can provide indie developers and small studios with a powerful, yet simplified workflow for designing and animating remarkable 3D characters, environments and props – at a price that fits within even the most modest budget. It’s a practical solution that closely matches the needs of the mobile game development production cycle and helps developers rise above the noise and really shine.”