Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 23.08.13

Batman Arkham OriginsIt’s the end of the week which means it’s time for the industry news round up!

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment unveiled a new trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins titled “Nowhere to Run.” The trailer showcases the indomitable super villains hell-bent on taking down the Bat and gives a first look at Firefly, one of the eight assassins featured in Batman: Arkham Origins, capable of raining fire from above. You can watch the Batman: Arkham Origins – Nowhere to Run – gameplay trailer here: http://youtu.be/gTQQaZm5Mzc

Continuing the superhero game theme, LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes are back, this time revealing the brick-building plot of the game, with an all-new new trailerAm! Do you have what it takes to destroy Dr. Doom and his Dr. Doom Doomray of Doom? Check out the awesome trailer (with a huge villain reveal) here: http://youtu.be/Nvpug0_-xAQ

It’s time to step back into the darkness. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the follow-up to the genre-defining horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is now available for pre-order with a 20-percent discount. From the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dear Esther comes a new first-person horror game that will drag you to the depths of greed, power and madness. It will bury its snout into your ribs and it will eat your heart. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is survival–horror at its most unsettling; helpless and alone, no weapons to soothe your nerves, and the dim light of your lantern to offer any comfort.

Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse is the fifth instalment in the adventure game franchise. It was kickstarted to give Revolution Software full control, giving them total freedom over the games look and feel. It is also the first Kickstarter project to be picked up by Sony to put on the Vita. The Serpent’s Curse will also be available on iOS, PC, Mac, Android and Linux and you can see an early trailer for the game, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3jQu1riTcYg

After years of Comic Book Movies, Publishers are really making a play for videogames to muscle in. EA have a Need for Speed movie starring Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad, and Ubsioft already have Michael Fassbender attached to Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy. Now they’re taking upcoming Watch_Dogs onto the big screen too, forming a partnership with Sony Pictures and New Regency. Video Games have a very hit and miss track record with going to movies and some are only good because they are so bad. With all these games going to Hollywood though, it shows games are being accepted more and more.

Train2Game News: Humble Bundle 8

Humble Bundle 8The eighth official Humble Bundle has been out for a few days and has some amazing games included.

This latest pay-what-you-want affair for charity comes with Little Inferno, the charming puzzler with a killer soundtrack; the subterranean Metroidvania adventure Capsized; the profoundly beautiful first-person stroll-’em-up Dear Esther; the minimalist narrated platformer Thomas Was Alone; and the colourful multiplayer platformer Awesomenauts.

If you pay above the average, which at the time of writing is $5.45, you also get the highly popular Hotline Miami, which Eurogamer gave a massive 10/10, and the chirpy, abstract exploration game Proteus.

Every title in the bundle is available for PC, Mac, and Linux, which several of these games are debuting on with this bundle.

Proceeds are split between the developers, Child’s Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the bundle organisers. As per the usual routine, you can decide which of your money goes where.

The Bundle has already made $1,295,199.86 (and rising) from 227,826 sales. It reached the $1m milestone after just 18 hours. Currently the customer that has paid the most for the bundle is Markus “Notch” Persson with a purchase price of $5,000.

You can enjoy an amusing video detailing the Humble Bundle 8 below:

To purchase the Humble Bundle 8 you can go to www.humblebundle.com

Train2Game news: “Presentational quality can be an integral part of gameplay” says Dear Esther creator

Train2Game Blog readers may recall the success of immersive indie title Dear Esther, and its creator Dan Pinchbeck has been discussing the importance of “presentational quality” in making a game a good experience.

He believes that’s just as important as other elements such as gameplay mechanics.

“Presentational quality really only came into play recently, not that presentational quality has been missing in games, but the discussion about how presentational quality can be an integral part of gameplay.” Pinchbeck told Gamasutra.

“Games like Assassin’s Creed or Skyrim or S.T.A.L.K.E.R., for example, they work not just for their mechanics, they work because they present these incredible worlds.” said Thechineseroom founder.

He added that if game developers put time and effort into making a game world believable, then players will become more engaged as they’re “more likely to buy into this world that’s being presented.”

Pinchbeck’s experimental; story driven indie title Dear Esther reached 50,000 sales in its first week on sale. As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, it started life as a Half-Life 2 mod. Thechineseroom’s current project is a sequel to Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent, titled Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

Train2Game students in the Nottingham area have the chance to see Pinchbeck give a talk about Amesia, storytelling, modding and more when he appears at GameCityNights on Wednesday. There’s more information about it right here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on Pinchbecks comments on “presentational quality.” How important is a game’s world in immersing you in that title?

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

Train2Game news: Dear Esther creator to speaking at GameCityNights this month

Train2Game students based near Nottingham can an insight into the development of Dear Esther, as creator Dan Pinchbeck is set to offer a behind the scenes look at his work at GameCityNights later this month.

As recently reported by The Train2Game Blog, experimental indie title Dear Esther sold 50,000 copies through Steam in its first week on sale. It started out life as a mod for Half-Life 2.

Thechineseroom founder will cover of areas, including storytelling in games and turning a mod into a full-release, which will surely be useful for Train2Game students who can get to the GameCityNights event.

“I’ll cover the studio’s humble beginnings as a mod team working as part of a research project based at the University of Portsmouth and the philosophy behind the studio’s work, and how this led to this year’s cult indie hit, Dear Esther.” said Pinchbeck.

“I’m also excited to introduce the studio’s two current projects: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, an open-world purestory game that takes Dear Esther’s explorations of storytelling and gameplay to a new level; and the recently announced Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, a sequel to Frictional Games’ indie horror classic.”

“Along the way, I’ll take in the relationship between academia and the games industry; managing an indie start-up; how to turn an experimental mod into a successful commercial release; and the central design principles of thechineseroom.

“Expect fear, despair, guilt, loss, death, emptiness and some insight into how you can make games fun even without the gameplay.”  he concluded.

The GameCityNights event takes place in Nottingham at 18:00 on 29th March. For more information, and to buy a £4 ticket, visit GameCityNights website.

There’s more about Dear Esther here on The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, will you be attending GameCityNights? And what are your thoughts on Dear Esther?

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

Train2Game news: Indie game Dear Esther reaches 50,000 sales in first week

Train2Game Blog readers will have seen that experimental indie title Dear Esther sold 16,000 copies in its first 24 hours on sale.

Of course, sales didn’t stop there as developers Thechineseroom have revealed 50,000 copies of Dear Esther were sold in the first seven days after release.

“You may have seen the news that we repaid Indie Fund within 6 hours of launch, as the game has been successful far beyond our expectations. This is great, as it shows that there’s a real audience for this type of work, and responses have been amazing.” wrote developer Dan Pinchbeck on the Dear Esther website.

“Not only have we received amazingly positive reviews, but the response from fans has been outstanding. Within one week of launch, we sold over 50,000 copies of the game, which is an extraordinary amount for an indie release.” he said, before adding that patches and updates for Dear Esther are on the way.

The news should encourage Train2Game students, as it shows that it’s still very possible for an indie game to be successful.  More information about the game that started life as a Half-Life 2 mod is here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the success of Dear Esther? Have you played it? If so, what did you think?

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

Train2Game news: Dear Esther recoups Indie Fund investment in under 6 hours

Train2Game students may be interested to hear that experimental indie title Dear Esther has recouped its Indie Fund investment just hours after being released.

The project which started life as a Half-Life mod sold 16,000 copies in its first 24 hours on Steam, making back its Indie Fund investment in just five and a half hours, meaning Dear Esther is now profitable.

Indie Fund was founded in 2010, with the aim of supporting the next generation of game developers.

More information about Dear Esther’s Indie Fund deal is available on the official website, while you can find out more about the experimental game right here on The Train2Game Blog. It’s available to download for £6.99 via Steam.

Dear Esther isn’t the first Indie Fund game to turn a profit, with puzzler Q.U.B.E returning its investment in four days.

Both titles show that creating an indie game could potentially provide Train2Game students with success.

So, what are your thoughts on Dear Esther becoming profitable so quickly?

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

Train2Game news: Half-Life mod Dear Esther gets trailer ahead of full release

Train2Game students should be interested in upcoming indie title Dear Esther for two reasons. First of all, it throws the rulebook for traditional game design out the window, and secondly it started life as a mod.

In terms of game design, Dear Esther is a first person ghost story in which you wander an island uncovering the reasons why you’re there and what’s going on as you explore the environment.  There are no guns, no weapons; Dear Esther is all about discovering the narrative, so it might prove to be an interesting experience for Train2Game students who  play it.

While Dear Esther is getting a full release, as mentioned above it started life as a mod built using Half Life-2’s Source engine and originally released in 2008 by Dan Pinchbeck, a researcher based at the University of Portsmouth. However, by 2010 the mod had been given support by Valve for a full, independent release, with a team of six people behind it.

Dear Esther is set for release on 14th February and Train2Game students can watch the trailer below.

You can find out more about Dear Esther on the game’s official website.

Dear Esther isn’t the first mod to get an official release. Heck, it isn’t even the first Valve mod to be officially released with huge titles such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress starting life as mods.

And in an interview with The Train2Game Blog, Valve’s Chet Faliszek said modding is a great way to break into the games industry.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” he said.

“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.” Faliszek added.

For all the latest news about modding, and how it can be a great benefit to you, keep reading The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Dear Esther? What does it say about the potential of modding?

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