Train2Game News: musicMagpie competition

GTA VWith the release of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V just over a week away, musicMagpie are holding a competition to win a copy of the game.

musicMagpie, a website where you can sell your unwanted Games, Movies and CD’s, is giving you the chance to win a copy of GTA V and a limited edition PlayStation 3 with their new competition. Second prize is a limited edition copy of the game and third prize is the standard edition of the game.

GTA V is one of the gaming release of the year and with the collector’s edition, you’ll be getting the best of everything GTA has to offer; as-well as the game itself, you’ll benefit from exclusive downloadable content, custom characters for GTA Online, a collectable SteelBook complete with exclusive Artwork, a Blueprint map, a New Era GTA V Snapback cap and a GTA V Security Deposit Bag.

All you need to do is name the three central characters of GTA V. Once you’ve entered, the winners will be selected at random from all the correct answers that are received.

GTA V is set to take gaming to a whole new level. Set in the fictionalised city of San Andreas, the game’s storytelling focuses on the pursuit of ‘the almighty dollar’. Gamers will be able to switch perspectives whenever they like and drop in on any of the characters to see what they are up to. As-well as the central missions, there’s the usual truck load of side missions to get to grips with, or you can just treat the city as your very own playground

To enter the competition and to read the full terms and conditions they can all be found on the music Magpie site at: http://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/blog/article.asp?id=813

Train2Game News: DFS Competition Winner

DFS WinnerThe Train2Game student who won the DFS home set up competition is Luke Marchese from Stoke on Trent.

Luke was chosen as the winner of the competition as he is clearly an avid gamer. In his entry picture we can see: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Game Cube, SNES, Dreamcast, Wii U, N64, PS3, Megadrive, a NES, A gamegear, three monitors and countless games. He also has Sonic figurines and loads of games memorabilia.

When Luke was told that he won the competition he said “It feels great to win a prize for showing off my collection. I have been collecting Video Games and consoles almost all my life and if I remember correctly I have a total of 19 consoles plus well over 250 games.  Gaming has always been a passionate subject for me and there is nothing I love more than designing games.”

Train2Game would like to wish Luke a big congratulations and we hope you enjoy your £50 Amazon voucher.

Thank you as well to all the other entrants, you all have great gaming set ups! You can view a gallery of the other entrants below.

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Train2Game News: Last chance to enter DFS home gaming competition

DFSToday is the last day for Train2Game students to enter the Home Gaming set up competition from DFS.

The competition is very simple. All you have to do is take a picture of your gaming set up and email it to the address at the bottom of this story.

If your gaming set up is the one that impresses us the most you can win a £50 game voucher from Amazon, enough to let you buy that brand new game you have been wanting!

Whether you are a fan of Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo or PC, it doesn’t matter. All entrants are welcome and encouraged.

A reminder of the Terms and Conditions:

  • This competition is open to all www.Train2Game.com readers in the UK
  • Prizes cannot be swapped for a cash alternative
  • Multiple entries will be disqualified – please include your contact details (shipping address, contact telephone number and full names) in the email
  • Emails must be received by 30 July to qualify
  • By entering this competition, competitors will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by the rules, and all entry instructions given are deemed to form part of the rules of the competition
  • Train2Game’s decision over the winning entry is final
  • Your email address will only be stored for the purpose of this competition and will not be passed on to any third parties
  • The winner will be informed by email

You can view a few of the entrants we have already had in the gallery below:

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Remember this is the final day you can enter this competition so don’t miss out, email a picture of your gaming set up to maria@train2game.com for your chance to win.

Train2Game News: Home Gaming Competition

Gaming SetupAttention all gamers! Do you think you’ve got the ultimate video gaming set up? Do you treasure your home entertainment centre above all else? Is your lounge set up for gaming complete with your favourite comfy DFS sofas?

Well, here’s your chance to prove it! Send us a photo of your best home setup and if you’re chosen, you’ll win an Amazon voucher worth £50!

It really doesn’t matter whether you favour an Xbox over a Nintendo Wii, or even if you are a diehard Playstation fan. Show us what makes your lounge setup stand out above all others and we’ll see if we agree!

What We Want to See:

This is your chance to be creative and send us a photo of your best gaming set up. Whether you prefer to unwind in the lounge while playing your Wii, Xbox or Playstation or if you choose to chill in your office with your awesome gaming PC; it doesn’t matter where you are or what you play!

What we’re interested in is what your place looks like, the whole gaming room feng shui if you will, when you immerse yourself in the gaming zone. Send us a photo and you could be a winner! Best of luck!

To submit your entry contact: maria@train2game.com

Terms and Conditions:

  • This competition is open to all www.Train2Game.com readers in the UK
  • Prizes cannot be swapped for a cash alternative
  • Multiple entries will be disqualified – please include your contact details (shipping address, contact telephone number and full names) in the email
  • Emails must be received by 30 July to qualify
  • By entering this competition, competitors will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by the rules, and all entry instructions given are deemed to form part of the rules of the competition
  • Train2Game’s decision over the winning entry is final
  • Your email address will only be stored for the purpose of this competition and will not be passed on to any third parties
  • The winner will be informed by email

Train2Game News: Rugby Nations 13

Rugby Nations 13The biggest rugby game for smart phones and tablets is back and aims to grow its existing 2.5m fans with new features including professional commentary and improved rugby simulation.

Distinctive Games launches the fourth instalment of the biggest rugby title for the smart phone and tablet, Rugby Nations 13. The series has gone from strength-to-strength since its creation in 2009, new features include: Commentary from Sky Sports’ Bill Leslie, improved visuals and animations with guidance from ex-professional rugby player James Waterhouse and increased accuracy and realism of the rugby simulation, directly requested by players of previous games in the franchise.

Powered by the Phoenix engine, the astonishing visuals and incredibly fluid game play of Rugby Nations 13, propel your rugby experience to new heights. Charge into the action with all-new set play mechanics, offload passing and strategically increase your scoring potential using the in-game team management to ensure only the fittest make the pack.

Rugby Nations is one of Distinctive Games major franchises, to date it has released four games in the series that have been played by over 2.5m players. Rugby Nations 13 will the 5th in the series and will be released accompanied by Rugby Kicks 2, a free rugby flicking game which will be available a few weeks after Rugby Nations 13 is released. Rugby Nations 13 will be launched exclusively on iOS with plans for release on additional formats later in the year.

The Distinctive Games team have a huge amount of experience in creating sports games, having previously worked with the biggest sports IPs in gaming and now with over 30 million people playing their sports titles. The franchise has achieved over 2.5m downloads, is the #1 rugby game for smartphones/tablets and has featured in the top 10 sports games on Appstores, with Rugby Nations 2011 reaching #1 within two days of release.

Distinctive games have also recently employed Tarnya Smith, a Train2Game student who worked on this years Rugby Nations game. We will catch up with her soon to find out about her experiences with Distinctive Games.

Nick Dent, Creative Director, Distinctive Games, said: “We’re all huge fans of sports and sporting games at Distinctive Games, so it’s great to bring the latest version of Rugby Nations to our enthusiastic and passionate fan base. We’ve taken a lot of time to look over reviews of the previous titles by the players and improve aspects of the game they have specified. We’ve also been continuing to work with ex-professional rugby player James Waterhouse to improve the realism of the game. With professional commentary by Bill Leslie this is the biggest and best Rugby Nations to date.”

Distinctive Games recently won the Windows 8 “Power Up” gaming App competition. To find out more visit the Distinctive Games website at www.distinctivegames.com.

Train2Game News: The future’s a game as Nicola’s incredible journey across Europe pays off

Nicola When Nicola Valcasara faced nothing but dead-end jobs in his home-town of Verona, he went on an incredible journey which ended on the doorstep of one of the world’s biggest companies.

The ambitious Italian rode almost 2000 miles through Italy, France and the UK on his Honda motorbike to seek his fortune.

Nicola, aged 26, of Lowerstoft Close, south east London, said: “I was delivering pizzas in Italy and working in an amusement park, anything to get by really, but then I found myself out of work for a year…

“I’d always had the ambition to work in the games industry but there are no real opportunities anywhere in Italy. I’d spent months applying to companies but got no response.

“I couldn’t see any future at home and one day I just jumped on my motorbike and rode off into the night with my heart set on finding work.”

After five days of travelling across Europe Nicola finally arrived in London. “It wasn’t that I believed the streets were paved with gold but I knew it was a major centre for the games industry and that’s all I wanted to get in to.”

David Cameron has made the video games and apps industry one of his main focuses of the UK’s economic recovery offering major tax breaks to companies offering new jobs and opportunities to talented people and financial support to major organisations. But Nicola’s arrival in the capital was a nightmare – within 24 hours a gang tried to steal his motorbike and a few days later he was conned out of £300 by a company which promised to get him into the games industry.

“It was terrible, I’d parked my bike in the street and five men tried to steal it – the police woke me up at 3am. The next blow was meeting up with a man who convinced me that his firm could teach me what I needed to know to realise my techy ambitions. They ripped me off. I was pretty despondent.”

Nicola and chefs

“I didn’t know he was in the competition. When he told us he had won we were in shock. He’s a very quiet guy, then out of nowhere he told us he had won £10,000”, head chef Sandro Jaupi

But within ten days Nicola had found himself a job as a chef in one of London’s top restaurants.

“Things were looking up and I have always enjoyed cooking – but it still wasn’t what I was looking for. I knew Microsoft’s London offices weren’t far from where I was working and I’d always wanted the chance to prove my abilities to them in particular. It was like I was standing on the doorstep of a dream.”

Nicola started burning the midnight oil in a bid to break in to the games industry. “I used my wages to pay for aTrain2Game course, one of the biggest training colleges in the UK, and right away I began making games and apps.”

It was then he entered the national Rapid2D development competition to find the best apps created for Microsoft’s Windows 8. Nicola was amazed to hear he’d won the top prize of £10,000. Part of the prize was to see his work go up on line, a visit to Microsoft’s new centre in London and to receive mentoring from Gurus.

Myra and Andrew presenting the cheque

“I can’t believe it – it was worth that incredible journey through the nights on a motorbike from Italy. Now I have money in the bank, I’m learning to build games which is my real ambition and I’ve got an introduction to Microsoft. I feel like I’m really on top of life.”

Dr. Jan Telensky senior JV of Train2Game where Nicola is learning said: “We think Nicola has done really well and what a journey he went on to get here. We wish him all the best. This really is an exciting time to get into the industry, particularly with the Government tax breaks and the support of major organisations. Our students are becoming main players in games design.”

Nicola coaching Andrew

Nicola coaching Andrew Weber, Microsoft at Le Mercury {deuxiéme}

Nicola chefs and cheque

Sandro Jaupi, head chef (Nicola’s boss)

How do you feel about Nicola winning?

Absolutely amazing,

He has worked for us for around 5 months.

He really likes gaming; all he talks about is gaming in the kitchen.

He works in the kitchen for a job but his heart is set on making games, this is like a dream come true for him.

Nicolas cheque

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio – Sam Henderson

Sam HendersonLast week I got to interview Sam Henderson who was the runner up in the Rapid2D competition. Sam told me about how he came to Train2Game and how he found working with the engine and Windows 8.

You can listen to the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1366288-train2game-student-sam-henderson-shares-his-prize-from-rapid2d

Or read the following transcript:

My name’s Sam Henderson, doing the Train2Game developer course and I live in Darlington.

Hi Sam, how you doing mate?

I’m good thanks

Excellent, so tell me who you are and what have you done lately?

Well at the moment just trying to be a games developer, went to university for 2 years, didn’t like it, went on Train2Game, learnt loads from that.

I understand you worked with the Rapid2D engine recently, you were part of the competition weren’t you?

Yeah

How did that go?

I came second, I was runner up.

Yeah and what did you have to do for the competition?

Just design games for Windows 8.

How did you find working with Rapid2D and Windows 8 and all of that?

A lot easier than I thought! It was difficult to get used to it but when I did get used to it, it was perfect to use. A lot easier than I thought it was going to be.

Excellent, so what sort of games did you make?

I made a Space Game, I used templates that they provided to us and just tried to edit them. I used a couple of quiz games based on the template they provided us with and I just went from there really.

You had to make a certain amount of games to enter didn’t you? How many?

Yeah it was 5 to enter then for every one you get an extra entry. I made I think it was twenty three in total.

That must have been quite some work!

Yeah, day and night!.

Yeah, who needs sleep!? So was that on your own you did that?

Yeah I was on my own.

You said you were at University and didn’t enjoy it that much. What was it about University that you weren’t into so much?

Um, because we were quite a big class, because games programming is quite popular, I didn’t get the support, the one to one support, I wanted and needed. So the lecturers came in, dealt with the people they liked and who stood out more to them but for people like me who stay back, stay quiet, through certain things, it was a bit harder for me to grasp everything but then I found Train2Game and I found everything a lot, lot easier, a lot more support, got the forum and got the Tutors. It was so much easier to use. In my own time as well.

How did you find out about Train2Game?

I think it was an ad through Facebook!

So how did you initially get into games development? What sparked off your interest for it?

Well my initial games interest was from when I was a kid, I had a lot of free time because I was in hospital quite a bit because I fell in a river and got an ear infection and lost hearing in my ear. So I was in and out of hospital every now and again and I had a games console to play while recovering. That sparked my interest in games and as I progressed through life I just wanted to do more with games and try and produce them myself and get more involved in development for them.

Excellent. So where would you like to end up working in the games industry?

Not sure! Anywhere that’s willing to take me really.

You haven’t got any ambitions to work at any of the big companies or anything like that?

Well I suppose probably my favourite one to work for would probably be Bethesda, working on the Fallout or The Elder Scroll games.

Yeah? They seem to be popular with the programmers because of just the amount of work that goes in to them must be quite appealing!

Yeah.

Alright, well thank you very much then Sam!

Thank you.

Train2Game News: Chimpact competition!

ChimpactIt could be you! Realise your dream of creating the next big gaming character

Yippee! Entertainment launches competition to design a chimp to join Chuck’s family in Chimpact

Calling all: crayonists, felt tippers, doodlers, painters, artists, designers, games animation enthusiasts and children who like to draw on their parent’s walls. Yippee! Entertainment is launching a competition to design a character to feature in the Windows version of its on-going games series; Chimpact. Entries are required to create a chimp similar to those in the game and any level of artistic ability will be considered for the top prize.

The competition is open from the 25th February to the 12th April. The final judging decision will be made on the 3rd May. Entrants can be submitted in physical form in the UK or digitally; drawings, photos or any type of picture, will be accepted. Though in the US, only digital images can be submitted via the competition’s website.

The competition is open to all ages and backgrounds: enthusiasts, students, gamers, artists, children of any age and even grandparents, anyone in the UK and the US can enter. Winning entries will be chosen from both the UK and the US and will appear in respective versions of the game. The winners will be decided by the Yippee! Entertainment team and the judging criteria will include: Originality, Use of Colour and costume design.

The winning competition entries will be created by the Yippee Entertainment team and put into future versions of Chimpact on Windows 8 and Windows Phone via an update. The UK based winner will have the opportunity to visit the Yippee! Entertainment studio in Manchester, to see how the game is made and to meet the team.

Full details of the competition and submit your entry, here: www.chimpact.com/competition

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chimpact

Twitter: @chimpact_chuck

Chimpact is currently available on the Windows 8 store here

Train2Game News: Microsoft offers points for Windows Store apps

W8CompThis is another great opportunity for Train2Game students who have a game idea and just want an excuse to get working on it! From now until 30 April, Microsoft will give you points towards a prize of your choice for every app you upload to the Windows Store.

Who is eligible to participate in the UK App Builder Reward Programme?

Open to individuals who are eighteen years or over at the date of entry and who have the applicable UK Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Developer Account.

What is the timeframe of the UK App Builder Reward Programme?

The programme is open for apps that are published between Monday 4th Feb 2013 to Tuesday 30th April 2013. App builders will have up to Sunday 19th May 2013 to claim points for their app(s) (see the “How Do I Claim My Points” section). The points must be redeemed for rewards by Tuesday 31st May 2013 (see the “Redeeming Points For Rewards” section).

What apps are eligible for the UK App Builder Reward Programme?

Windows Store and Windows Phone apps published between Monday 4th Feb and Tuesday 30th April 2013 are eligible for the programme. Furthermore, in order to earn points for your app, it must certain requirements. Click here for full details.

How do I earn the additional bonus point by incorporating Windows Azure Services:

  • Compute – Web/Worker Role, Azure Mobile Services and Azure Media Services.
  • Storage – Blobs, Tables, Queries.
  • Database – Windows Azure SQL Database

To validate that you are using one of the Windows Azure Services, please provide your Windows Azure Subscription ID and Live ID so this can be verified when you are claiming your apps for points.

How do I claim my points?

  • Firstly, develop and publish your Windows Store and/or Windows Phone app.
  • Secondly, register and sign in to the UK App Builder Reward Programme
  • Then, submit your app in the ‘claim points’ section. Be sure to include the name, URL of your app. In order to claim bonus points, be sure to include your Windows Azure details and/or existing Windows Phone or Windows Store app details if ported.

What happens to the points that I don’t use?

Any unused and remaining points earned in this reward programme that are not used before Friday 31st May cannot be carried forward to any future reward programmes and will, therefore, be lost. So, make sure you use your points before the programme finishes. App builders will have up to Sunday 14th April 2013 to claim points for their app(s). The points must be redeemed for rewards by Sunday 28th April 2013.

How do I ensure the points I claim are updated on the UK App Builder Reward Programme?

To ensure that your points are allocated effectively and efficiently, please ensure that you accurately input your Windows Store and/or Windows Phone developer details (publisher details, full name, and email according to the developer account).

When will I receive my points once I have claimed them on the website?

Please note that processing time is not immediate and not in real time. Points will be awarded after 5-10 working days. We will do our best to turn this around as soon as possible. But please bear with us and only contact us if you have not received your points after 10 working days you have claimed your point online. As outlined before, you can help by ensuring your publisher name, for the Windows Store and/or Windows Phone details are correct.

What is the maximum number of points I can earn?

There is no maximum in the number of points you can earn but all points earned must be redeemed by 31st May, and, there is a maximum number of points we have on offer for each point category. See below for the maximum of points we will allocate to each category.

General Points for Apps
Publish a Windows Store App 50 Points
Maximum of 60,000 points available across the whole rewards programme.
Publish a Windows Phone App 25 Points
Maximum of 12,500 points available across the whole rewards programme.
Bonus Points
Your Windows Store or Phone App incorporate one or more Windows Azure Services 25 Points
Maximum of 12,500 points available across the whole rewards programme.
Your app Windows Store app is ported from Windows Phone or Windows Phone app is ported from Windows Store. 25 Points
Maximum of 12,500 bonus points available across the whole rewards programme for WP>W8.
Maximum of 6,250 bonus points available across the whole rewards programme for W8>WP.

When will I receive my reward once I have redeemed my points?

You will receive your reward within 6 weeks of redeeming your points

What if I am a Windows Store or Windows Phone developer residing outside of the UK?

Sorry, but this programme is available to residents in the UK only (Northern Ireland excluded).

Is there a discussion forum I can join?

Yes, join us on the UK App Builder LinkedIn group here http://linkd.in/ukw8apps.

I have more questions, who can I ask?

Please email us on enquiries@my-rewards.com.

Train2Game News: Search for a Star, last chance to sign up!

Aardvark Swift’s Search For A Star 2013 set to be the biggest year in the competition’s history

Students looking to showcase their work to the industry are joining Search For A Star competition in record numbers as registration closing date (the first of March) approaches.

Search For A Star the nationwide competition for student games developers and programmers will soon reach the final stages of its registration process. With 100 entries so far, this year will set the record for the most entries to the competition and is set to be the biggest year in the competition’s history. The final opportunity to register for the competition is the first of March.

Search for a Star is a nationwide competition designed to highlight and reward the UK’s most promising video games students. The competition spans the UK’s leading areas of higher education (universities, blended learning courses and colleges) and is an excellent chance to shine the spotlight on students studying video games related subjects (including computer science and computer games programming) and also highlight the UK’s leading courses.

The register and find out more about the competition go to www.aswift.com/searchforastar/

Daniel Collinson, last year’s Search For A Star Winner and now an employee at Sony Evolution, said: “I’m happy to hear that more and more people are interested in the Search for a Star competition. People who are passionate about getting into the industry MUST take part as it makes such a huge difference.

Even just taking part looks good on your CV as you are keen to try other things outside of your University modules. Employers want people that not only study hard, but demonstrate that they really are passionate and keen to get into the industry, this is done by doing personal projects in their spare time, taking part in game jams and of course competitions such as Search for a Star.

The competition will teach candidates the type of interviewing processes that real studios do. I personally never had a real interview before so the skills I learnt from the competition helped me land my dream job working for Sony Evolution. I will be following this year’s competition and can’t wait to see the games from stage 2, good luck to all, it’s a very nerve wrecking and exciting process.”

Created by Aardvark Swift the competition is contributed to by some of the UK Games Industry’s most respected video games developers. Included in the judging panel are representatives from: The Blast Furnace, Headstrong Games, Rockstar Leeds, Microsoft, Sony Evolution and many more.

All entrants receive CV and Portfolio advice from Aardvark Swift, up for grabs for the winners will not only be physical prizes provided by Microsoft but also internships at some of the most prestigious games developers in the UK, including: Sony Evolution, Exient and Boss Alien.

The register for the competition and find out more about the competition go to www.aswift.com/searchforastar/