Train2Game News Twin Town SpecialEffect Challenge Success

SpecialEffectOne hundred cars costing less than £500, laps around Silverstone and Abbeville circuits, a street party in Le Touquet plus lots of fun and games over the May bank holiday weekend, helped the Twin Town Challenge 2016 to raise over £250,000 for SpecialEffect.

The cars left Blenheim Palace on Friday 27th May and headed for Silverstone before crossing to France and on to Le Touquet, Witney’s twin town. During the weekend they undertook a series of fun challenges like blind driving, car boxing and car booty as well as a treasure hunt. There were also bonus points for the best-dressed car and team, which provided some amazing decorations and outfits from pink suited men, Christmas trees, Mexican bandits, golfers and shell fish.

On the Sunday night, French and English gathered together for a street party in Le Touquet with a live 10-piece band called The Village Idiots who had travelled from Stonesfield in Oxfordshire to play for Twin Town 16.

The welcome home party on Monday 31st May was hosted at Abbott Diabetes who provided a British bake off style tea with cakes made by the staff. Over half the cars were donated for auction at West Oxfordshire Motor Auctions in aid of the charity.

Twin Town is the brainchild of SpecialEffect Vice President Brendon Cross and is organised by a team of volunteers, over 50 of whom acted as marshals, fundraisers, minibus drivers, mechanics, scorers and generally managed the 500 people taking part in the event, both in the UK and in France.

Fundraising also included an online auction of money can’t buy prizes, bucket shakes in Le Touquet and donations from the teams, many of whom also held their own TTC16 events. Brendon said, “When we were planning Twin Town 16, we thought a target of £250,000 was quite ambitious, but with the amazing support of the Twin Town community, the teams and everyone involved with the event, we have not only reached this figure, but are likely to completely smash it.”

The money will be used by Charlbury based SpecialEffect to help more young people with disabilities to play computer games. Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, commented, “The success of the amazing Twin Town Challenge 2016 has left the SpecialEffect team both stunned and humbled, not only by the remarkable funds raised but also from the feel-good factor generated by volunteers, sponsors and participants during a weekend that none of us will ever forget. We cannot thank Brendon and every single person involved enough for what they have done to help those who benefit from our life-changing work.”

Event sponsors included Playground Games,, Sumo Digital, SEGA, Ghost Games and Turn 10. Teams from the games industry taking part included GAME, Gamer Network, Sumo Digital, Atomhawk, Green Man Gaming, Insight Studios, Playground Games, Hutch Games and Red Kite Games.

Train2Game News Videogame Nation Season Three


Smash show Videogame Nation produced by Ginx TV has been commissioned for a third series, set to premiere tomorrow onChallenge on Saturday July 4th , 10 AM.

The show will see the return of gaming journalists co-hosts  Dan Maher (Explosive Alan),  Aoife Wilson (Eurogamer) and  John Robertson (The Dark Room) celebrating games, gamers and gaming culture. Featuring one major gaming release per week, the successful series is a blend of reviews, conversation, comedy and Top 5 picks.

As a show made by gamers for gamers, the new series renews its commitment to inclusivity and challenges the viewers’ perception of video games by exploring the world of gaming culture, from the understated beauty of games such as  Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture  to the super-powered open world of Batman: Arkham Knight.

This season will feature global gaming phenomenon including the galactic saga Star Wars: Battlefront, the anticipated apocalyptic frenzy of  Fallout 4, and the return of Lara Croft in  Rise of the Tomb Raider, as well as lesser-known indie gems such as Mike Bithell’s  Volume.

High-profile names in the new series include The Guardian’s Games Editor Keith Stuart, Kotaku’s UK Editor  Keza MacDonald, PCGamesN’s  Steve Hogarty, presenter  Julia Hardy (Video Game BAFTAs), and comedians  Steve McNeil (Go 8-bit) and  Ellie Gibson (Scummy Mummies).

Ginx TV’s Creative Director and Executive Producer  James Neal commented: “We are really excited that Challenge is committed to bringing video game entertainment to broadcast television for British audiences. The latter part of 2015 is stacked with the most amazing slate of video game launches on next gen consoles and PC and Videogame Nation will be perfectly placed to maximise the opportunity for TV.” 

Stephen Ladlow,  Director of Challenge commented:  “With such an array of eagerly anticipated games launching this year, it’s an exciting time in the world of gaming. Here at Challenge, with this new series of Videogame Nation, we are aiming to indulge our viewers and gamers in the latest topics, reviews, and hottest developments in gaming culture. 
Videogame Nation will be Produced and Directed by Ginx TV’s  Adam Mason and was commissioned by Director of Challenge and Pick TV,  Stephen Ladlow.

The brand new season 3 of Videogame Nation starts on Saturday July 4th at 10am on Challenge (Sky 145, Freeview 46, Freesat 145, Virgin 139) in the UK, and every Monday from July 20th at 19:00 CET on GINX TV.

Train2Game News: Extreme Motion Android Challenge

Extreme RealityExtreme Reality, the only company to bring full-body motion analysis and control via a device’s native or peripheral camera, today announced the call for submissions for the Extreme Motion Android Challenge 2014.

The contest, open to Android game developers, gives participants a chance to win prizes of up to $8,000, and a meeting with gaming pioneer and the founder of EA Trip Hawkins, for the most innovative uses of motion control in an existing or new Android game.

Games submitted by the deadline of May 20, 2014 will be evaluated by a panel of judges led by Trip Hawkins. The grand prize winner of the contest will receive $8,000 and a meeting with Trip Hawkins and three additional winners will receive $1,000 respectively.

With Extreme Reality integrated into an Android game, all a player needs to do is place their Android device on a table with the device’s camera facing them, take two steps back, and the motion of their body will be captured and analyzed in real-time, enabling their motion to control the game. Similarly, an Android device can be tethered to a larger screen, such as a TV, so a player can enjoy the same level of immersive motion control offered by console systems.

“No longer limited to gaming consoles or other hardware, motion control is adding an entirely new and exciting experience to games on any platform,” said Sarit Firon, CEO of Extreme Reality. “We look forward to seeing the innovations in motion gaming created by participants in the Extreme Android Challenge, from adventure to sports to fitness or dance games.”

Developers can sign up now by submitting their project proposals at After their concept has been approved, they will receive the Extreme Reality Android SDK that enables them to easily incorporate motion control into their game. The Android SDK will be sent by March 17 to start development until May 20when they will submit the game to Extreme Reality. Evaluation of the games by the judges will begin May 25, and winners will be announced on May 30.
The judges will review the following six aspects in their scoring:

  • Motionization – Best utilization of motion control to enhance the game experience
  • Graphics and Audio – The level of visuals and audio in the game
  • Gameplay – The storyline and mechanics that underpin the game. Is it fun to play?
  • Stickiness – Does it have lasting appeal? Is it addictive? Would you finish the game? Would you play it again?
  • Polish – Is the game ready for prime time?
  • Usability – Is it easy to use with minimal explanations? Is it intuitive?

This would be a good challenged for some Train2Game student studios and give you access to some powerful software. There is also the chance for some healthy prize money and to meet someone who could offer invaluable advice.