Train2Game News Several companies join OneSpecialDay


Bossa Studios, Curve Digital, Game Swing and Magic Notion have joined the growing number of games industry companies supporting SpecialEffect’s One Special Day fundraising initiative on Friday 15 July.

SpecialEffect say the event will become an annual flagship day for the games industry to be loud and proud about supporting gamers with disabilities, and are encouraging other companies to join the One Special Day team.

So far over 20 companies have signed up, with many donating an entire day’s revenue of one or more of their games to the work of the charity.

One Special Day kicks off with a celebration party on Thursday 14 July at the Develop Conference in Brighton. Other activities will include an online auction of rare and collectable gaming merchandise, due to commence on 8 July, and a showcase at the Ukie Westminster reception on 6 July to celebrate the inclusion and creativity of the UK games industry.

Bossa’s early One Special Day on 8 July will see the revenue from the Steam sales of I Am Bread, Surgeon Simulator and Deep Dungeons of Doom from that day being donated. “Bossa are really excited to be part of One Special Day and help SpecialEffect change the lives of more gamers with disabilities,” said Ricardo Rego, Product Manager at Bossa. “We know the sales of our titles on our SpecialEffect One Special Day will make a big difference to their amazing work.”

Curve Digital will be donating Steam revenues from Stikbold, Stealth Inc 2 and Stealth Bastard Deluxe. Simon Byron of Curve said “Curve and Game Swing are delighted to be part of the One Special Day Initiative. For us, games are an intrinsic part of life and so easy to take for granted, so it’s a perfect fit to be able to support SpecialEffect in putting smiles back on the faces of people who would otherwise miss out because of a disability.”

Rich Franke of Magic Notion commented, “Magic Notion are delighted to be a part of One Special Day and donate the steam sales of Kitty Powers Matchmaker on July 15th. The work of SpecialEffect to help people with disabilities to experience the magic of gaming is amazing and we are happy to help them make a difference.”

All the proceeds will be channelled into the work that SpecialEffect do to help gamers with disabilities. Gamers like Tom, a 26 year-old who has spinal muscular atrophy and very little movement in his fingers. 

“With SpecialEffect’s help I was able to play for the first time in years,” he said, “And nothing can describe the feeling that gave me. So many things in life are limited because of my condition, but when I play a video game I’m in a world where the only limits are the ones I allow to be there.”

SpecialEffect CEO Dr Mick Donegan said, “We’re honoured that the games industry are being loud and proud about supporting our work in helping people with all kinds of physical disabilities to play video games. Games are an amazing medium through which people make friends, socialise and come together for a common cause. To be able to extend that medium to people that would otherwise not be involved is both an honour and a privilege.”

“There is a warm welcome awaiting all companies who would like to join this exciting initiative.”

One Special Day is open to all companies working in the games industry. To find out more, visit www.onespecialday.org.uk

Train2Game News Instant Indie Collection

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Curve Digital unveils the easy way to build your game collection on PlayStation and Xbox One: introducing ‘Instant Indie Collection’ Volume One.

The Instant Indie Collection is designed to offer Xbox and PlayStation owners the opportunity to build a collection of the very best indie games, for a fraction of their usual price.

Set to be released semi regularly from now on, the bundles will showcase celebrated indie games from across all genres.

Instant Indie Collection Volume One contains Stealth Inc 2, Thomas Was Alone and The Swapper – currently the highest rated Xbox One game in Metacritic – and is available from today on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita (cross buy) and Friday on Xbox One, priced £17.99 / $22.99 / €22.99, over a 33 per cent off the full SRP.

Stealth Inc 2 (current Metacritic rating 82 per cent on Xbox) takes the premise of tight, arcade-orientated stealth to a whole new level. Players embark on a remarkable platform adventure across a huge ‘Metroidvania’-style overworld in which clever gadgets, devious puzzles and a delicious sense of humour combine.

Thomas Was Alone (80 per cent Metacritic rating on PS3) is the game which introduced the world to Thomas, Chris, John, Claire and Laura – and, of course, Mike Bithell. The BAFTA winning game will delight and infuriate as players take a cast of quadrilaterals on a journey which will linger long after the game has concluded.

The Swapper, from Facepalm games, is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in the furthest reaches of space. An experimental device allows players to clone versions of themselves in order to journey deeper into the game’s hand-crafted world in one of gaming’s most mature narrative adventures.

“The Instant Indie Collection is being designed to allow new console owners to easily discover games they may have missed on original release,” says Jason Perkins, managing director, Curve Digital. “Whilst Volume One is all about puzzle platformers, we intend to ensure that each collection keeps things fresh, aiming to cover multiple genres where we can. They will all have one thing in common, though – and that’s a ridiculously competitive price.”

Instant Indie Collection Volume One is out today on PlayStation 4, 3 and Vita (cross buy) and on Friday for Xbox One, priced £17.99 / $22.99 / €22.99.

Train2Game News HELP Real War is Not a Game

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Games are officially the new rock and roll as, two decades on from the iconic HELP album, game developers from across the globe are to pool their talents to create HELP: Real War is Not a Game, a unique compilation to raise funds for War Child
 
It was 20 years ago today… that Oasis, Blur, The Stone Roses, Paul Weller, Paul McCartney and many more got together to create HELP, the first in a series of award-winning albums, which raised more than £1.5m to fund War Child’s activities to protect children in the war-torn Balkans.

Now, two decades on, a star-studded line-up of game developers have announced their intention to follow in those musicians’ footsteps by uniting in a unique ‘studio game jam’ designed to help fund War Child’s ongoing activities in conflict-affected countries.

A traditional game jam is a gathering of game developers for the planning, design and creation of one or more games within a fixed time span. Game jams usually take place in a single location and last for a fixed period… normally between 24 and 72 hours. The HELP game jam will largely stick to those principles, but instead of having a fixed home it will take place in a variety of locations across the world and the teams involved will be allowed a total of six days to bring their creation from concept to completion, based on a brief provided by War Child.

The result of all of this international collaboration will be brought together as HELP: Real War is Not a Game, a compilation of games which will be made available to the general public to buy as a digital download early next year.
 
Studios which have already committed to participating include 343 Industries, A Brave Plan, Bossa Studios, Carbon Games, Creative Assembly, Curve Digital, Hardlight, Hinterland, Spilt Milk Studios, Sports Interactive, Team 17 and Torn Banner (who, between them, have sold well in excess of 100m games), with more announcements expected in the coming weeks. Major technology providers including Unreal, Gamemaker and Unity are also backing the project by providing their tools to the teams on a ‘no cost and royalty free’ basis.
 
“War Child’s work is amazing. It revolves around a simple premise… no child has started a war, so no child should be affected by one,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive and founder of the global games jam committee. “Whether it’s rehabilitating ex child soldiers in Democratic Republic of Congo, creating child helplines in Afghanistan, providing safe spaces for Syrian refugee children, or the work in so many other countries – wherever they are they make the world a better place for children forced to live with war. For so many studios to have got involved in this project at such an early stage is really humbling. I hope many more join the cause and get involved in something that will be fun, rewarding and make a huge difference in children’s lives across the world.”
 
“We’re incredibly excited about the launch of HELP: Real War is Not a Game. It’s been amazing to be part of this initiative which is set to raise vital funds for children whose lives have been torn apart by war,” says Rob Williams, Chief Executive Officer of War Child UK. “In the 20 years since the music industry came together to create the HELP album, we’ve seen new records for the numbers of children affected by conflict. Today, the gaming industry is changing the game, with exactly the kind of creative and collective response required to help War Child change more lives.”

The War Child games committee is Alex Chapman (Sheridans), Ciarán Brennan (Sports Interactive), Elisabeth Little (War Child), Imre Jelle (Bossa), John Clark (SEGA), Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive), Rupert Loman (Gamer Network) and Stuart Saw (Twitch).

HELP: Real War is Not a Game will be released through Steam and other digital download platforms in late March 2016. For further information, keep an eye on http://www.warchild.org.uk/helpgame and War Child’s UK’s twitter, or email helpgame@warchild.org.uk .

War Child’s HELP campaign is seeking large-scale public support in the form of an online petition. For more information on the HELP campaign go to www.warchild.org.uk/help .

Train2Game News OlliOlli being ported

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Notorious street thugs Curve Digital and the pushers of intense digital experiences over at Roll7 are pleased to announce a collaboration that sends finger-skate-em-up OlliOlli kick-flipping over gamers’ couches and grinding all up on their Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles in early 2015!

For the seriously out-of-touch, OlliOlli is a 2D side-scrolling skateboard game crafted by Roll7 from a solid block of pure raditude. This ain’t your grandpa’s skating game  – OlliOlli throws you feet first into high-risk, high-reward skate lines where ‘just one more trick’ can mean the difference between pulling off a gnarly combo and becoming just a smear on the concrete.

Fresh from its critically acclaimed debut on the PC and PlayStation consoles, players will be tearing up over 250 challenges across 100 levels, utilizing the 120+ tricks at their disposal as they compete for the highest score amongst their peers and other skater strangers.

All of the wild features return in full for the new versions, such as all four game modes, including the nails-hard RAD mode and the Daily Grind, which sees players worldwide competing on the same line for the highest score possible.

The game’s release is scheduled for early 2015, when you can finally pop shove-it into your console of preference.