Train2Game News Global Game Jam 2021 Online

Global Game Jam 2021 will be a completely digital event in January in response to COVID 19, and site registrations open today at https://globalgamejam.org/jam-site-registration
 
Following the success of GGJ NEXT Online – the Global Game Jam event for younger participants that takes place each summer, and this year also moved to a digital format – GGJ Online is officially announced to take place January 27-31, 2021. Join thousands of hobbyist, student, and professional game developers from over 115 countries across the world online this January to celebrate creation, collaboration and togetherness despite being apart!
 
Additionally, Seattle video game industry veteran and champion for game development and climate science, Tim Cullings, joins Global Game Jam, Inc as Director of Operations, replacing Jo Summers who served as the GGJ Executive Producer for over three years. A Systems Engineer at Oculus and Founding Board Member for Seattle Indies, Cullings also helped found GUILD, a support group for indie game developer community organizers, as well as Games For Our Future, a multi-city game jam that brings together climate science researchers and game developers to make games about climate change related issues. 
 
“We’ve been discussing GGJ Online with our community on social media for a few months already. Given the current global situation, it was really never an ‘if’, it was a ‘when’ and ‘how’,” said Kate Edwards, Executive Director of Global Game Jam. “The tenets of Global Game Jam – creativity, collaboration, inclusion and fun – are more important now than ever, and we are so excited to have Tim Cullings joining our staff. His extensive background in supporting indie developers and organizing charity game jam events for change will prove invaluable as we steer into the uncharted waters ahead.”
 
The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is the world’s largest game creation event taking place around the globe, typically at physical locations. A “game jam” is essentially a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.
 
For individuals interested in running a GGJ Online site, please click here to fill out the application.
 
Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about setting up a site.

Train2Game News Stormzy Collabs With Watch Dogs Legion

Stormzy has unveiled the incredible music video for ‘Rainfall’ (feat. Tiana Major9). Produced by Jay Weathers, ‘Rainfall’ is the latest single to be taken from his number #1, gold-selling album, ‘Heavy Is The Head’.
 
The video has been created entirely inside Watch Dogs: Legion, a brand-new video game set in a near-future London which is set for release on 29th October. In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, the game features an exclusive mission titled ‘Fall on My Enemies’ which sees Stormzy enlisting the help of the resistance group, ‘DedSec’ to protect the broadcast of the music video across the entire city. 
 
Stormzy is one of UK’s most inspiring and influential cultural figures. His two albums to date; ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ and ‘Heavy Is The Head’ both reached #1 in the UK album chart and were subsequently nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. His remarkable ascent has been accompanied by his honest and relatable character – a true spokesman of black empowerment and social activism, he has consistently stood up for people from all areas of life; encouraging his fans and listeners alike to speak openly about their beliefs and fight for their rights. 
 
We are thrilled for Stormzy to be a part of Watch Dogs: Legion. His music and what he speaks to as an artist is extremely relevant for our London setting, and for the larger themes of our game,” commented Clint Hocking, Creative Director at Ubisoft Toronto. He added, “It’s been almost a year since we had Stormzy in the studio to film his performance. He lit up the room, and captivated us all. He’s a great collaborator, and it was a career highlight for us to get to work with him.
 
Led by Ubisoft Toronto, Watch Dogs: Legion will release on Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Stadia and for Windows PC on Epic Games and Uplay on 29th October, 2020.  The game will also be available on UPLAY+. Watch Dogs: Legion will also release on Xbox Series X|S on November 10th and PlayStation®5 upon the launch of those consoles.
 
For more information about Watch Dogs: Legion, please visit watchdogs.com, and join the conversation by using #watchdogslegion

Train2Game News Drine Swarm Available Now

The new strategy adventure Drone Swarm, which lets you control a swarm of 32,000 individual drones, is available now on Steam™!

The innovative gameplay of Drone Swarm is embedded in an exciting sci-fi story, that will take you to the frontiers of the known galaxy and beyond.  

Take a look at the Launch Trailer to see a summary of all features that await you in Drone Swarm

In Drone Swarm, you slip into the role of Captain Carter, the commander of the Argo, mankind’s only FTL ship. On your journey into the depths of an unknown galaxy, your main mission is to jump from system to system and battle powerful alien fleets in action-packed space battles. To this end, you need to take control of the impressive swarm of 32,000 individually simulated drones. Destroy enemy vessels, slam them into one another, block attacks and outsmart defenses. Quickly analyze attacks of your adversaries in order to develop the best defense strategy and to launch a strong counterattack.

To be successful, your tactics must always be adapted to the different types of opponents you will encounter, because they too have different weapons, special defenses, and unique behaviors in their arsenal. During the fast, action-packed fights, players therefore should always keep a cool head and make use of all the possibilities the drone swarm has to offer if they want to turn the tide of each battle and claim their victory.

The strategy adventure is accompanied by a gripping sci-fi story

In the year 2118 the earth lies in ruins, after it was attacked and destroyed by a gigantic swarm of alien drones. The psionics among the few surviving humans found a way to control the drones and stop the attack. After the swarm was finally under human control, the interstellar spaceship Argo could be built and sent out with the mission to find a New Earth for mankind.

The universe and story of Drone Swarm is a result of a collaboration between studio 451 Media from New York and the game’s developer, stillalive studios. 451 Media, co-founded by star director Michael Bay, will publish Drone Swarm comics that tell the prequel to the space adventure.

Next to a unique space soundtrack, English and German voiceovers contribute to the very special atmosphere of Drone Swarm, that will take all players on a journey far beyond the stars. Subtitles are also available in a total of 13 languages.

Drone Swarm will be released digitally on Steam™ today. The Standard Edition will cost 19.99 Euro/24.99 USD/17.99 GBP and the Deluxe Edition 24.99 Euro/29.99 USD/22.49 GBP.

The Deluxe Edition provides next to the base game additional digital content such as the first issue of the official comic by 451 Media, two additional weapon upgrades for your mothership and a soundtrack exclusively composed for Drone Swarm. Next to the main theme, this soundtrack includes 23 tracks that manage to perfectly capture the atmosphere of the exceptional space adventure that is Drone Swarm.

To celebrate astragon’s website revamp there will be a special offer for all Drone Swarm fans: Until October 28, 2020 the Deluxe Edition can be ordered at the discounted price of 19.99 Euro/24.99 USD/17.99 GBP on astragon.com

Train2Game News World Esports Day

The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support esports, has teamed up with SpecialEffect and Percent as part of World Esports Day.

The global gaming celebration takes place on October 24th 2020 and will see various organisations and members of the esports community running streams and activities to spread awareness of the positives of esports.

Money raised throughout UK-based activities will go to SpecialEffect, the charity that puts fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, SpecialEffect finds a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities.

Tom Donegan, Fundraising Lead at SpecialEffect, commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for World Esports Day here in the UK. Over recent years we have received fantastic support from organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the esports community, who have shown a strong affinity with our work enabling more people with severe physical disabilities to play to the best of their ability. 

“We’re proud to join with the British Esports Association, Percent and our friends across the world in celebrating the positive impact of esports in bringing people together to enjoy the games we all love.”

During the World Esports Day activities, fans, viewers and those involved will be able to make donations to a number of charitable causes around the world. Monies raised in the UK will go to UK-based SpecialEffect, with each other national esports federation nominating a charity for their respective country. 

As a global payments platform for charitable donations, Percent will utilise its global giving API that makes charitable payments safe, secure and easy.

The Percent API enables businesses to build unique giving and sustainability experiences into their products. For World Esports Day, this also means that all charities will be completely vetted and validated by Percent.

The company will carry out the necessary due diligence and charity vetting to ensure donations end up in the right pockets around the globe. 

Henry Ludlam, CEO of Percent, commented: “We’re very happy to be partnering with British Esports to build charitable purpose into esports and power donations in the World Esports Day platform across 70 countries worldwide.”

British Esports is one of several founding members of World Esports Day, the others being the Global Esports Federation, Twitch Student and the Singapore Esports Association. 

Chester King, CEO and founder of the British Esports Association, and VP and chair of the Education, Culture and Wellness Commission at the Global Esports Federation, added: “We’re delighted to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause in SpecialEffect, and to have found a partner to ensure the donations made as part of World Esports Day are transacted safely and securely.

“We’re excited to see how the day goes and to raise money for a number of great causes and charities around the world.”

For more information, visit worldesportsday.com

Train2Game News Race With Ryan

Worldwide family entertainment publisher Outright Games™ in partnership with p.w Games™, the gaming division of kids entertainment studios pocket.watch™, and Sunlight Entertainment get into gear and today have released the Race With Ryan Road Trip Deluxe Edition.

Bringing together every racer, track and the original game in the perfect bundle gift for fans of the hugely popular YouTube sensation Ryan’s World that receives over 1.4 billion views per month. Race With Ryan Road Trip Deluxe Edition is now available to play on Playstation® 4, Nintendo Switch™, Xbox One and Steam priced at $29.99 / £24.99 / €29.99. 
  
Race With Ryan Road Trip Deluxe Edition is the ultimate Race With Ryan experience bringing together the original title and all new content released since launch for a total of 16 tracks and 33 fan favourite racers. The brand new DLC pack adds 2 new tracks and 7 racers including Montana Panda, Nevada Ryan and Wisconsin Lexa. Fans of all ages can take to the track with their favourite racer and cruise along Route 66, Icy Land, Forest, Redwood and New York, New York, before zooming to the finish line. With kid friendly controls, 2-4 player split-screen races, Ryan’s Mystery Egg surprise items, and career mode for the most ambitious racers, Race With Ryan Road Trip Deluxe Edition is the perfect Christmas gift for fans of Ryan and colourful kart racers alike!!
 
“It’s been amazing to see the popularity of Ryan’s World continue to increase since we released the original game last year and we wanted to give fans of the game the ultimate gift leading up to holiday 2020” said Terry Malham, CEO of Outright Games “We’re thrilled to bring Ryan fans the full Race With Ryan experience and add to the ever expanding Ryan’s World universe.”
 
“We’ve seen the popularity continue to expand this year, through increased viewership on his channels as well as new TV shows and wildly popular content on streaming platforms’” says Stone Newman, Chief Revenue Officer of pocket.watch. “Working with Outright Games has allowed us to create distinctly unique experience on game consoles that we know fans will absolutely love playing together this Christmas””
Race With Ryan is the hit multiplayer kart racer from the global kids entertainment phenomenon Ryan’s World starring Ryan, the most popular kid in the world and top creator on YouTube.

Race With Ryan: Road Trip Deluxe Edition is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC Digital and will be exclusively at Walmart and Smyths Toys Superstores.

Train2Game News Trials Of Mana 25th Anniversary Update

SQUARE ENIX® announced that Trials of Mana™, the full-3D remake of the beloved classic, will receive a patch update today, bringing new challenges and experiences to players. This update is in celebration of the recent 25th anniversary of the release of the original Trials of Mana, known as Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan. Additionally, SQUARE ENIX is holding sales on digital versions of titles in the series.


Patch 1.1.0 for Trials of Mana is scheduled for release today and will include a number of game content updates and additions, such as:

  • “No Future” Difficulty – This new difficulty level will put even the most experienced players to the test. This difficulty setting will allow players to challenge even stronger enemies and bosses with restrictions on certain abilities and item usage, as well as time limits on boss battles. Players can also obtain stronger versions of equipment and execute new chain abilities.
  • “Expert” Difficulty and Level Reset in New Game Plus – Players will have the option to select “Expert” as a difficulty setting when starting a New Game Plus playthrough. Additionally, the option to revert characters to level 1 when starting a New Game Plus playthrough has been added.
  • Costume Adjustments – Unlocked costumes can be accessed after resetting a character’s class or when starting a New Game Plus playthrough.
  • Addition of goddess statues to the map, bug fixes, and more.

Patch 1.1.0 Allows Players New Challenges with Time Limits on Boss Battles
Players who complete the story available after completing the “No Future” difficulty mode will be rewarded with the “Rabite Slippers” equipment, which will allow players to traverse fields and dungeons without encountering enemies.

Rabite Slippers Equipment
  In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original Trials of Mana, select digital download titles in the Mana series will be available at a discounted price on Nintendo Switch™ and Steam® from October 14 through November 2, and on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system later this month.

Additionally, Trials of Mana fans are encouraged to share their love of the game with friends and coworkers with a special set of Zoom backgrounds, available to download for free. The set of five backgrounds includes a variety of Trials of Mana artwork and character illustration, and can be downloaded here: https://sqex.link/8a2e5.

For additional activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of Trials of Manaand details on forthcoming discounts for the PlayStation®4 system, please continue to visit the official Mana series social channels on Twitter and Facebook

Train2Game News Polimon Political Monsters

Outside The Box Software, a small Indie game studio, releases the timely satirical Turn Based RPG Polimon – Political Monsters.

At first glance it may seem like a gimmick, but after just a few minutes playing it becomes apparent there’s a lot more to this genre blending game than meets the eye.

Featuring over a dozen famous and infamous U.S. politicians from the past 2 decades, Polimon allows players to take control of their favorite (or most hated) U.S. Presidential candidate. From the omnipresent Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders to fringe candidates like Kanye West. As the player’s chosen Political Monster, they will travel across the land, gaining supporters, and engaging in political battles.

The battle system parodies the classic Turn-Based RPG Trainer system while satirizing political candidates and various supporters and interest groups. “If you play the game for 5 minutes, you might get offended and send me hate mail.” says Christopher ‘Cosmo’ Evans the Lead Developer and Game Designer of Polimon at Outside The Box Software. “But once you play for more than 15 minutes, you realize the game pokes fun at everyone across the political spectrum and it also illuminates how we actually have a lot of shared interests outside of a few hot button issues.”

Polimon – Political Monsters contains over 30 hours of gameplay with a planned Online Multiplayer battle mode in the works. New Polimon will be added regularly featuring not only current politicians like ‘AOC’ but also “Legendary Polimon” such as Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon each with their own special movies and abilities. Polimon looks to be one of the more accessible political games to date. “Typically political games fall into two categories. They are either too esoteric requiring a near political science degree to understand or they’re too simplistic reducing the politics to whack-a-mole.” says Christopher Cosmo. “With Polimon, the idea was to create accessible and engaging gameplay that even a non-politico can do a play-through and maybe even pique their interest in politics, but also have enough depth and satire that political junkies will appreciate and have fun digging deeper.”

Polimon – Politcal Monsters is now available to download on the iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon App Store.

Train2Game News Baldurs Gate 3 Early Access

Larian Studios is excited to announce that its long-awaited RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 today released into Early Access on Steam and Gog on PC/Mac and, Google Stadia.

Players all over the world are now able to enjoy the first act of the game, which spans roughly 25h of content, 46.000 dialogue lines in english, 600 NPCs and 146 spells and actions. The extensive Character Creation within the game will let players pick from 16 races and subraces as well as six different classes with each their own subclasses.
 
Today’s release into Early Access marks the beginning of a long journey towards full release. Working directly with the community, the team will continuously iterate and improve the game, adding new content along the way. RPGs this large, with so many permutations, thrive from feedback as new features and fixes are incrementally added to the game. Early Access gives players a chance to participate in development and it gives the team an opportunity to explore different game ideas with a live community.
 
A parasite planted in their brains, they wake up on board a burning Nautiloid Ship, racing across hell and at the very center of an epic fight between Mind Flayers and red dragons. And that will only mark the very beginning of their journey. Players will encounter many challenges upon their return to the forgotten realms in a tale about fellowship and betrayal, sacrifice and survival – and the lure of absolute power.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gnf6Z-15K9A?wmode=transparent

Baldur’s Gate 3 is an expansive, cinematic, player-driven RPG based on 5e D&D. It features a
rich character creation system where players can create an avatar based on 16 different D&D races and subraces, select their cantrips, skills & abilities, and enter a world where their actions truly define the story.
 
Baldur’s Gate 3 expands on Larian’s award-winning narrative gameplay both through the
advent of cinematic storytelling, and with dice-rolls for key decisions throughout the game, in
and out of combat. Dialogue options often have multiple responses, and some responses may
require a dice roll to succeed, defined by both luck as well as the attributes of the player
character, or circumstances of the situation.

The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around – verticality is a vital part of exploration. They can sneak, dip, shove, climb, and jump as they journey from the depths of the Underdark to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City. How they survive, and the mark they leave on the world, is up to them:

  • Online Multiplayer for up to 4 players allows players to combine their forces in combat, and split their party to follow their own quests and agendas. They can concoct the perfect plan together… or introduce an element of chaos when their friends least expect it.
  • Evolved, turn-based combat, based on the D&D 5e ruleset. Team-based initiative, advantage & disadvantage, and roll modifiers join combat cameras, expanded environmental interactions, and a new fluidity in combat that rewards strategy and foresight.
  • Defining the future of the forgotten realms through their choices, and the roll of the dice. No matter who they play, or what they roll, the world and its inhabitants will react to their story.
  • Player-initiated turn-based mode allows the players to pause the world around them at any time even outside of combat. Whether they see an opportunity for a tactical advantage before combat begins, want to pull off a heist with pin-point precision, or need to escape a fiendish trap. They can Split their party, prepare ambushes, sneak in the darkness – and create their own luck!

Baldur’s Gate 3 today releases into Early Access on Steam, GOG, Google Stadia and Mac which marks the beginning of the games journey towards full release.

Train2Game News Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Story Trailer

Today, Ubisoft released a new Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla story trailer and a new podcast documentary series, Echoes of Valhalla, that gives insight into Viking stories and highlights the historical inspiration behind the game.
 
The story trailer offers players a new glimpse of Eivor, a fierce Viking raider torn between their duty to their brother Sigurd and a personal quest for glory.

Driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources, Eivor’s clan must secure a future among the kingdoms of England. During their journey, Eivor will come across the Hidden Ones, and face powerful figures including Saxon kings and the warmongering sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, as well as a mysterious, growing threat that could determine England’s destiny”.
 
In addition, Ubisoft announced Echoes of Valhalla, a podcast documentary series starting today that unveils the historical background of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In Echoes of Valhalla, Vikings tell their very own story to give a new voice to the warriors who have travelled and shaped the world.

To discover more about the podcast series Echoes of Valhalla, please visit: https://open.spotify.com/show/32D0s4zdgKVDplzPf8GZBO?si=YXZV_5tSRJi5DA2yaC1MEg
 
With development led by Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offers players the captivating experience of playing as Eivor, a legendary Viking raider, in a beautiful and mysterious open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages.

Players can take advantage of new features, including raids, weapon dual-wielding, and settlement building. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will release worldwide on 10th November, 2020 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation®4, the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store on Windows PC, as well as on UPLAY+, Ubisoft’s subscription service and  Stadia. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will release on PlayStation®5 alongside the launch of the console from 12th November, 2020.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will launch on Amazon Luna alongside the launch of the Ubisoft channel.
 
For more information about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, please visit: assassinscreed.com

Train2Game News 20 Double Fine Years

Indie By Design, creator and publisher of books that celebrate and document video games and their creators, such as Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation and Oddworld: Abe’s Origins, is delighted to partner with Double Fine Productions and Xbox to announce 20 Double Fine Years, a new art book capturing the spirit and storied history of Double Fine.
 
Featuring concept art, paintings, sketches, and renders from its digital and seldom seen physical archive, 20 Double Fine Years showcases the studio’s varied back catalogue as well as its upcoming Psychonauts 2. Alongside the art is behind-the-scenes insight from dozens of hours interviews with the studio’s founder, Tim Schafer, the exceptional Double Fine team and long-term collaborators – including Peter Chan, Anna Kipnis, Scott Campbell, Khris Brown, Peter McConnell and more.

The games, Amnesia Fortnights, Day of the Devs, company picnics, dubious early office space, dizzying success and flailing panic… discover what has made Double Fine so very mighty fine direct from the people who have contributed to its present and past as it moves towards a bright new orange and yellow future.
 
Tim Schafer: “Recently, I was looking back on the amazing 20 years we’ve had as a game company, and… I totally drew a blank. Seriously, my memory just isn’t what it used to be. So I summoned my court scribes and said, ‘Pen me a tome, worthy of the ages, so that I shall remember every amazing detail of this crazy ride we’ve been on, and so that nobody, not even I, forgets this amazing story.’ And so they did. Every up, every down, every crazy sideways shimmy we’ve ever done is in this illustrated manuscript for all to remember. Heroic ballad? Cautionary tale? You be the judge!”

20 Double Fine Years is available pre-order now from DoubleFineBook.com, shipping Q2 2021.