Train2Game news: Dead Space 2 designer offers advice on getting into the industry

Dead Space 2 Train2Game blog imageTrain2Game game designers should definitely be interested in this, as Dead Space 2 Combat & Control Designer Brian Bartram offers advice on how to get into the industry.

In an EA feature titled Breaking into the Industry, the Visceral Games man says experimenting with game engines and modding are great ways for aspiring game designers – such as Train2Game students – to practice their skills.

The Train2Game Blog regularly posts about the benefits of modding.

“The best advice is to give it a try. Download a game engine and try building your own levels, modifying existing games, and creating original content.” Bartram told EA’s The Beat.

“There are many communities online for people who are creating games of all types. Game engines like Unity, Unreal, Torque, and Panda3D all make good starting places.”

It was the Unreal Development Kit that Train2Game students used to produced games at last November’s Train2Game & Epic Game Jam.

The Dead Space 2 Combat & Control Designer added that creating user generated content – in using games such as Team Fortress 2, LittleBigPlanet 2  or Infamous 2 for example – is also a great way to gain experience with game design.

“Creating multi-player maps for games is another channel. Some games allow you to create “user generated content,” and I advise aspiring designers to give them a try.” Said Bartram, who also suggested designing board games is a good idea.

“ Another thing that many System Designers do in their spare time is create board games, card games, and other “analog games.” I highly recommend Stone Librande’s speech from GDC entitled “15 Games In 15 Years.” (Which you can read here)

Bartam’s advice is similar to that given to The Train2Game Blog by Red Faction: Armageddon game designer Jameson Durall in an interview last year.

It might be lengthy, but EA’s interview with The Dead Space 2 Combat & Control Designer provides an excellent behind the scenes insight into the industry. You can read it in full here.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Bartram’s advice? Do you produce your own user-generated content?

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

[Source: EA]

EA’s GamesCom Presentation: The Big Announcements

EA have made several big announcements and revealed some impressive trailers during their presentation at GamesCom 2010.

The big news is that Mass Effect 2 will be released on the PlayStation 3 in January next year, while Bioware also showcased an impressive looking Dragon Age 2 trailer. Dragon Age 2 is due for release on March 11th 2011, will apparently be more responsive to players controls and will be featuring a revamped artistic direction.

EA also revealed that The Sims 3 will be released on the PlayStation 3 on October 26th and will include new ‘karma’ features and an achievement system.  Not only that, but The Sims Medieval, an all new stand alone Sims title is scheduled for release in March next year.

The Sims Medieval will allow life simulation enthusiasts to give their Sims quests and even partake in duels.

We also discovered that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be Kinect compatible. (Kinect’s UK launch date was earlier confirmed as November 10th) The announcement was made through making the guys who play the Weasley twins in the film demonstrate the game. The motion controller was used to cast different types of spells and looks like it could be the first ‘hardcore’ Kinect title on the Xbox 360. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released in November.

There were also gameplay Demos for Dead Space 2 and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit which were both rather intense. EA also showcased a Medal of Honor video which featured elite soldiers explaining how their work as consultants is helping develop the war themed first person shooter. Medal of Honor is released on October 15th 2010.

So Train2Game, that’s a quick round up of the big announcements from EA’s GamesCom presentation. What news stands out from the news? Is it Mass Effect 2 on PlayStation 3? Dragon Age 2? Or perhaps it’s The Sims Medieval or even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being Kinect compatible!

As usual, leave your thoughts here or on the Train2Game forum.

Sony E3 Press Conference – The key announcements

Like  Microsoft’s presentation before it, Sony’s press conference not only saw key titles get release dates, but also full details on their own motion controller – the PlayStation Move.

In surprising – but welcome on this side of the Atlantic – twist, the PlayStation Move will be available in Europe on September 15th this year, four days before it’s released in the United States. The motion controller and PlayStation eye will be available in a bundle for €59.99 – a price in pounds sterling is yet to be revealed, but it’ll be much lower in cost than Microsoft’s Kinect.

Speaking at the E3 press conference, Sony President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Jack Tretton, added that 40 developers are currently working on Move titles. Hopefully some of these will be innovative games, and the type that Train2Game students – be they a Games Designer, Games Developer, or Games Artist & Animator – would be proud to work on.

In non-Move related news, several of the PlayStation 3’s flag ship titles we’re given release dates including the long awaited – and long delayed lest we forget! – Gran Turismo 5. The racer will be available in the USA from Novemer 2nd with a trailer revealing the Top Gear test track as one of the circuits. Jack Tretton also revealed that the game will be fully 3D compatible.

In other PlayStation 3 games news, Killzone 3 will be released in February 2011 – slightly earlier than thought, while it was announced there will be PS3 exclusive content for Assassin’s Creed’s Brotherhood, Medal of Honour and Dead Space 2. There were also new details about the much anticipated Little Big Planet 2.

However, perhaps the biggest surprise of the show so far, was that Valve’s Gabe Newell himself appeared on stage to announce that Portal 2 will be coming to the PlayStation 3. It’ll be connected to Valve’s powerful Steamworks service with the PlayStation 3 being the only system doing so. It represents a huge turnaround for Gabe Newell – previously one of Sony’s consoles biggest critics. While on stage he joked “I’d like to thank everyone at Sony for their hospitality and not repeatedly punching me in the face.”

So, that’s a quick round up of Sony’s E3 Press Conference? Are you impressed? If so what are you looking forward to? As usual, leave your comments here or on the Train2Game forum.

Microsoft E3 Press Conference – The key announcements

Last night saw Microsoft present the first major presentation of E3, and boy did they deliver.  The press conference kicked off with Senior Vice President Don Mattrick saying that 2010 will be “a year of transformation” and will ‘transform the way you play games and connect to friends and family.’

Of course, Microsoft’s biggest claim to transforming the way we play – and perhaps design and develop games – comes with the introduction of the Kinect, the motion controller for the Xbox 360.

Kinect – the device formerly know as Project Natal – will be released in the United States on Thursday, November 4th with 15 exclusive title’s including the Rare developed Kinetic Sports. No European date has been announced yet, but it’s likely it’ll be some way behind the USA if it follows the pattern of the new Xbox 360 Slim. While the new console is ships in the United States today, it won’t be available this side of the Atlantic Ocean until July 16th.

Train2Game Game Designers, Game Developers and Game Artist & Animators will no doubt be encouraged by Microsoft’s Phil Spencer stating “Microsoft Games Studios is constantly looking to partner with talented new development partners.” Perhaps if you play your cards right, you could be developing games exclusively for the Xbox 360 in the years to come.

In addition to announcements about Kinect and the Xbox 360 Slim, a number of highly anticipated games were given release dates.  Peter Molyneux himself took to the stage in Los Angeles to reveal that Fable III will be available on October 26th this year. Meanwhile, Dead Space 2 executive producer Steve Papoutsis revealed that the horror sequel will be released on January 25th 2011.

These are just some of the many announcements made last night, and E3 isn’t even in full swing yet with Nintendo and Sony still to give presentations today at 5 p.m. and 8.pm. respectively – that’s the British times anyway!

So it’s over to you. Are you impressed by Microsoft’s announcements? If so, what are you most looking forward to? Kinect The Xbox 360 Slim? As usual, let us know either in the comments section below, or on the Train2Game Forum.