Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 17.05.13

Batman and DeathstrokeIt’s the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game round up of Games Industry news from across the week!

First of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment released a teaser trailer for Batman Arkham Origins. This most certainly is a tease! The full trailer is scheduled to be released on May 20, the day before the big Xbox reveal. You can enjoy your teaser here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvQXipKxrCE&feature=youtu.be

To continue our trailer theme, a trailer for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was also released earlier this week. This is following comments made by CEO Yves Guillemot who stated that they don’t expect AC4 to do as well as it’s predecessors. This cautious approach is a refreshing change. You can enjoy the PEGI 18 trailer here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Iys4wq7O_fQ

2K and Gearbox Software today announced that the sixth playable character for Borderlands 2, Krieg the Psycho, is now available via digital download across all available platforms for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points. The Psycho Pack offers fans a chance to play with one of the most iconic personalities in the Borderlands universe. The sixth playable character for Borderlands 2, Krieg the Psycho, harnesses his psychotic multiple personalities to give the bandits and baddies of Pandora a taste of their own medicine. Vault Hunters can use the new character class to shoot and loot their way to new heights in Borderlands 2 with the recently released Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack. The pack raises the level cap to 61 for all six characters, unlocks a third play through called Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, and is available now for $4.99 or 400 Microsoft Points as a standalone purchase. It is also included as part of the Borderlands 2 Season Pass.

Valve has announced the Steam Trading Card beta is available for sign up now. Fans participating in the beta can unlock virtual trading cards by playing selected titles including CS: GO, Portal 2,  Dota 2 and more to come. The cards can be turned into game badges and trade-able Steam community items, according to info on the Steam site. Full sets of cards can be combined to earn Steam badges, all of which will contribute to your overall Steam level. “Up to half the card set is dropped through game play, the other half is earned through your collecting prowess,” says the blurb. Collecting prowess means that you can get more cards by interacting and trading with fellow Steam community members. Images on the Steam Trading Cards page indicate that these could entitle you to money off purchases on the Steam store. If you’d like to sign up for the beta, you can do it here.

Tech website The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is about to kill off its points system, the method by which we use to buy products off Xbox live, and is moving instead towards using real world prices, and allowing gift cards to pay for its services. These gift cards will supposedly work in the same way as Apple iTunes vouchers do, and the change will also allow users to buy with normal credit or debit cards. This comes after Windows 8 was changed late last year to reflect real-world prices rather than points. This should be confirmed to be true or not at this years E3.

Train2Game news: Your chance to join the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta

Train2Game students have the opportunity to register for a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta key.

To be in with a chance of receiving a CS:GO beta key, visit the Counter-Strike blog and follow the link to complete a survey using Steam. The survey asks questions based on your previous experience with Counter-Strike, favourite weapons and some other more general information.

Valve are keen to state that there are no wrong answers, and it’s likely that they’ll need CS: GO beta testers from a variety of different backgrounds.

“Over the coming months we will make selections from the survey participants. Sometimes we might add experienced players, other times new players. Sometimes 1.6 players, sometimes CSS players, sometimes people who have played neither.” said the Counter-Strike blog post.

Valve plan to expand the CS: GO beta as it goes on, with the idea that it’ll eventually transition into being the full game

In an interview with The Train2Game Blog , Valve’s Chet Faliszek said that beta testing is an important part of the game development process for CS:GO, and ultimately it’s player feedback that’ll drive the eventual full release date.

“It’s really important to us because we’re going to let that drive the release date,” Faliszek told us

“Because we’re really looking to get the feedback from the community over the changes we’ve made. We’ve brought over some stuff that was good from Counter-Strike: Source and we’ve brought over some stuff that was good from 1.6, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the communities react” the Valve writer added.

Read The Train2Game Blog interview with Chet Faliszek on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive here.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest beta testing opportunities.

Will you be attempting to grab a CS: GO beta key?

Leave your comments on The Train2Game Blog, or on The Train2Game Forum.

Train2Game news: CS:GO beta delayed, but here’s a reminder of the significance of beta testing

Train2Game students who picked up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive closed beta keys at the Eurogamer Expo will need to a bit longer to get involved because it’ll miss the planned October launch.

Valve’s Chet Faliszek  – who spoke to the Train2Game blog at Eurogamer last month –  says the delay comes after feedback from professional players.

“They gave us a lot of feedback on things we should get in the game before we release it, otherwise we’re going to be getting a lot of bug reports or a lot of feedback and it would just be redundant,” he explained

“There’s going to be things we’re going to release it with knowing we need to add more, we need to do more. But just knowing there’s some feel and some just operating the game issues that need to be resolved first. We want to get those done first.”

Faliszek said the beta will accommodate 10,000 players, it has no official end date and it’s the beta testers who’ll say when CS:GO is ready to be released.

“We have no mandate from anybody of when we have to ship this. So we’re more than happy to just keep working on this until it’s ready to ship.

“By the end of it, everyone will be playing the game. It will be the released game that you’re playing and then at some point we’ll say, ‘OK we’re going to officially release it.’

His comments on beta testing and a release date echo those he told the Train2Game blog at the Eurogamer Expo.

“It’s really important to us because we’re going to let that drive the release date,” said Faliszek when asked about the importance of beta testing to game development.

“Because we’re really looking to get the feedback from the community over the changes we’ve made. We’ve brought over some stuff that was good from Counter-Strike: Source and we’ve brought over some stuff that was good from 1.6, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the communities react.”

The Valve man also told the Train2Game blog that modding is a ‘really good way’ to get into the industry. Meanwhile, End of Nations Senior QA Tester Karl Tars told us that beta testing is potentially a good route into QA.

Train2Game students will be aware that beta tests are used by many developers to tweak their games, but as the Train2Game blog reported last month, Battlefield 3 developer DICE believe some gamers misunderstand the meaning of ‘beta test’

What are your thoughts on the CS:GO beta? Are you going to be involved? If so, what are you looking for?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game news: Valve on playtesting

Train2Game students, especially the QA Testers, will be aware of the importance of testing games in development.

In an interview with the Train2Game blog last month, Valve’s Chet Faliszek revealed that testingto be an important part Counter-Strike: Global Offensive development. Now other leading Valve developers have given further insight into how testing works at the studio.

Gamasutra report that speaking at GDC Online in Texas, Valve writer Erik Wolpaw said they take it very seriously. They start testing internally during game’s early development before bringing in testers from outside the studio.

“We definitely do playtest. We’ll ask people after they play to recount the story to us and gauge their comprehension of their experience…” he said.

Of course, Valve fans among the Train2Game community will know the developer like to put humour in their games. However, Wolpaw added that testing this aspect of game design can be difficult.

“Comedy stuff is tougher [to evaluate] because it’s more subjective and it’s really hard to gauge peoples’ reaction,” he said.

“Pretty much no one that played Portal 2 cracked a smile, but testers still said the game was funny. It’s hard to tell if a joke is failing or not.” Walpaw added.

Nonetheless, the testing process is useful to Valve and they’re happy to make changes if something isn’t working.

“We fail all the time, we just don’t advertise it too much,” said studio writer Marc Laidlaw.

Excerpts of the GDC Online Valve Q&A session can be found on Gamasutra and it should make interesting reading for Train2Game students, especially those on the Game Design course.

Of course, Valve aren’t the only game developers who value playtesting, with the Train2Game blog recently reporting that Bioware see it as a key part of developing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Flower and Journey developers Thatgamecompany have also stated that testing is a crucial part of the game design process.

Find out more about the Train2Game QA Tester course here!

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the testing process at Valve? How important is it to get both an internal and external opinion on games in development?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game news – Valve: modding ‘a really good way’ to get noticed in the games industry

 

Train2Game students should take up modding in order to help demonstrate that they’re ready to work in the games industry. That’s according to Valve Software’s Chet Faliszek who spoke to the Train2Game blog at The Eurogamer Expo.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” he responded when asked about modding.

“Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.”

Valve have a reputation of hiring modders, and as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Team Fortress 2 regularly sees community created items added to the game.

As part of an interview that’ll shortly be published  on the Train2Game blog in full, the Valve writer added  that it’s important to just “make sure you’re doing something.”

“Do whatever you’re doing,” he said.  “Like we (at Valve) weren’t necessarily writing for games when Gabe (Newell) tapped us, but do whatever you do as well as you can and with a view as to what your eventual goal will be”

Faliszek’s comments echo those of id Software’s Tim Willits, who last month also told the Train2Game blog that modding is a great way to get into the industry. Willits himself started his career as a modder.

“Modding is a great way to get into the industry. Most of the key guys at ID come from the mod community – myself, Matt Hooper, Robert Duffy, Jan Paul Van Waveren – and we have numbers of other guys” said the RAGE Creative Director.

“What I suggest to people who want to get in the industry is find their favourite engine – Unreal, Source, it doesn’t matter, id tech – find whatever engine they like, what games they like to play, get the mod tools and make a mod. And make sure they complete it!

“Lots of times we have people who send resumes’ in with 20 half completed mods; we don’t want that, we want a handful of one’s that are actually done, and that’s really important” he added.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Faliszek’s advice? Do you mod? Would you like to take it up?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.