Train2Game News From Bedrooms to Billions out now

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“From Bedrooms To Billions” – a movie documenting the history of the UK games industry is OUT NOW exclusively at Europe’s Number One Retro Gaming Destination, Funstock.co.uk

After being successfully funded via Kickstarter the creators went on to develop a fascinating 150 minute in-depth journey told through interviews and archive footage featuring industry legends including Peter Molyneux, Ian Livingstone, David Perry, David Braben, Ben Daglish, Oliver Frey, Miles Jacobson, Jeff Minter and many more.

The movie tells the story of how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in shaping the billion dollar video games industry.

In addition to the original 150min documentary the Special Edition version (available on Blu-Ray and DVD) features over 150min of additional content, numerous game ‘making of’ features, industry stories and ‘making music on the C64’ features with Rob Hubbard and Fred Gray.

General Manager of Funstock.co.uk, Andy Pearson quoted:

“From Bedrooms to Billions is the definitive documentary on the UK video games industry. It features virtually every personality you can imagine from the golden age of gaming, with exclusive interviews shot for this movie. It is expertly crafted by veteran film makers with a strong passion for the games industry – and this passion shines through. It is an absolute MUST see for anyone with even the slightest interest in gaming. It’s a fascinating story, told by fascinating people.” Andy Pearson, General Manager, Funstock.co.uk

Visit here for more information:  http://www.funstock.co.uk/from-bedrooms-to-billions-home

Train2Game News 15th Game Developers Choice Awards

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The 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, has revealed its first two special award winners for this year.

The Ambassador Award, honoring someone who is helping video games “advance to a better place” through advocacy or action, is going to game designer and academic Brenda Romero, who has been a key figure in video games throughout more than three decades of standout game design, teaching and advocacy. The Pioneer Award, honoring breakthrough tech and game design milestones, is being awarded to David Braben, the co-creator of seminal 3D space exploration title  Elite – now in resurgence with  Elite: Dangerous – and co-founder of the foundation for the popular ‘hobbyist computer revival’ Raspberry Pi device.

Ambassador Award winner Romero, whose honor was bestowed after open nominations from the game development community, and voting by the Game Developers Choice Advisory Committee (http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/advisory.html) is an award-winning game designer and academic who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15.

She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry and a 2014 Fulbright fellow for her work with Ireland’s game industry, game academics and government to improve the industry overall. As a designer, she has contributed to many seminal titles, including the  Wizardry and  Jagged Alliance series. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games,  The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly  Train, which has been demonstrated at GDC on multiple occasions, and  Síochán Leat (The Irish Game), which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play. Brenda’s work advocating passionately for games – and the role of women in them – over the past three decades made her a natural choice for this award. Romero co-owns Loot Drop and Romero Games, and is also program director of the UC Santa Cruzmaster’s program in Games and Playable Media.

Pioneer Award winner David Braben co-developed the seminal ‘open world’ 3D space trading game  Elite with Ian Bell while at university in the early 1980s. The best-selling, startlingly expansive title had revolutionary 3D graphics and let the player make all kinds of intriguing moral decisions as they flew the known universe.  Elite saw a number of sequels, including the crowdfunded, currently much buzzed-about  Elite: Dangerous, and went on to be a big influence on games in the genre it helped create – from  Wing Commander to  No Man’s Sky and beyond.

In addition to his work on  Elite and his more than 30 years as a game developer – latterly at his major UK studio Frontier Developments – Braben was also involved in the genesis of the Raspberry Pi, a ‘hobbyist computer’ which enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to program in languages like Scratch and Python. Braben helped to found the Raspberry Pi Foundation and guide the program through to mass production – with more than 4 million of the devices now manufactured.

Finally, as part of the awards evening that includes both the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards, the team behind the  Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?  video series, Ashly and Anthony Burch, will once again contribute brand-new videos to the Independent Games Festival this year. They augment the efforts of ceremony favorites, the video game sketch anarchists Mega64, again returning to make videos for the Game Developers Choice Awards this year.

More information about the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards can be found on the official website at http://www.gamechoiceawards.com

Train2Game News From Bedrooms to Billions out now

From Bedrooms to BillionsToday, the global videogame market is worth a staggering $93 Billion, far larger than the $15bn music industry, and bigger still than the $88.3bn worldwide film industry.

2014 has also proved to be a momentous year for the industry in the UK, with the sector getting back on track and witnessing the long-awaited introduction of Games Tax Relief. As such, this is an opportune time to review and reflect on the UK’s incredible heritage and role in creating what is now, the biggest entertainment business on Earth.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’, a new two-hour feature length documentary film which tells that remarkable, true story of the British Videogame Industry from 1979 to the present day is out today.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ is a crowdfunded production, two and a half years in the making, that shows how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in the shaping of today’s multi-billion dollar videogame industry.

Developments in computer technology in the UK of the late 70s early 80s helped inspire a generation of small teams of enthusiasts, hobbyists, school kids, bedroom coders and entrepreneurs to make and release some truly classic games. ‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ reveals some of the remarkable stories, struggles and successes that saw the UK videogame industry go from quite literally nothing to a major force littered with original thinkers, innovators and eccentric characters.

The film then looks at how the cottage-style early games business began to evolve into a fully-fledged industry which in turn inspired more young developers and publishers to enter the industry, before the appearance of overseas games platforms presented an all new challenge by the early to mid-1990s.

It also features interviews with key contributors to the UK story, including Peter Molyneux, Jeff Minter, David Braben, David Perry, Jason Kingsley, Mark Healey and many others from across video game development, publishing and journalism from over the past 40 years, combined with compelling archive footage.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ is the first to attempt to bring this amazing story together. Starting in the late 70s, spanning ‘Thatcher’s Britain’ of the 80s and culminating in the dramatic shift of fortunes for the UK Video Games Industry by the late 90s. The film celebrates the importance of this era and why it has become such a landmark period in the history of British invention, creativity and industry.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ is rapidly becoming regarded as one of the most comprehensive and thorough video game documentaries ever created and is essential viewing for anyone interested in video games, either as a player or as a creator.

The film is available now from www.frombedroomstobilliions.com

Train2Game News: Ian Livingstone, David Perry, Philip Oliver and David Braben to speak at Develop Conference

Train2Game students who are able to attend Develop Conference will be able to see games industry veterans David Perry, Ian Livingstone, Philip Oliver and David Braben speak as part of the conference’s Visionaries track.

The Visionaries Track is being introduced to give Develop in Brighton delegates a unique opportunity to hear and learn from some of the industry’s most influential, inventive and inspirational entrepreneurs, who’ll no doubt be able provide some excellent insights into the industry.

“The games industry has come a long way in a short time. Its social, cultural and economic impact on society is finally being recognised in government and mainstream media.” Said Eidos life President and Fighting Fantasy co-author Ian Livingstone, who hopes to help future developers.

“But celebration of the art form is not enough. The new digital landscape requires new skills and access to finance for the next generation of creative talent to succeed, building on the great legacy of the UK’s trailblazing developers.

“From my experiences with Games Workshop, Fighting Fantasy, Eidos, working with government and investing in Indies, I hope to help point the way.” he added.

Some Train2Game students received advice from Ian Livingstone as they produced Fighting Fantasy games at Make Something Unreal Live last month. Livingstone said he was “delighted” to be a part of the initiative, and you can watch an interview with him here on The Train2Game Blog.

Train2Game News will be at Develop Conference, so even if you can’t make it, we’ll be bringing you news straight from Brighton. There’s more on Develop Conference here.

What are your thoughts on the Visionaries track at Develop Conference?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.