Train2Game News Half-Life 2 Epistle 3

The Project Borealis Team – the fan project developing Half-Life 2: Epistle 3, based on the Epistle 3 script published by Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw – have released their fourth development update.

The update features the announcement of their upcoming tech demo, a reimagining of fan-favourite Ravenholm from Half-Life 2, alongside new character concept art.

A video has been published detailing the tech demo, including footage of the demo’s location: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkAU3A5nM-E.

The tech demo will be a chance for Half-Life fans to provide feedback on the team’s progress. The team says that “Ravenholm provides an obvious choice for a demonstration of our skills, taking a fan-favourite location in Half-Life 2 and re-imagining it in Unreal Engine 4, fourteen years later.”

Concept art also shown in the update features new arctic designs for the Headcrab Zombie enemy type, as well as an exploration of the allied Rebel NPCs, and a more detailed environment piece around the idea of a crash site from near the start of the game.

A number of team openings have also been made available in light of the update; details and forms for these positions can be found at https://www.projectborealis.com/join-the-resistance/openings/

Project Manager Michael Dunaway commented, “Completing this tech demo has been one of our largest endeavours as a team since starting on this journey nearly a year ago. This upcoming demo lays out the foundation for everything that represents our efforts in bringing the nuanced HL2 experience into Unreal Engine 4. We’re excited to see fans’ reactions to our work and will continue refining the gameplay experience based on the feedback we receive.”

Find out more about the game and follow its progress on the official website at https://www.projectborealis.com/.
Get involved in discussions about the game by joining our Subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/dreamsofhalflife3/) or Discord (https://discord.gg/Rkz95GS).
Make sure to also follow the team on Twitter at https://twitter.com/proj_borealis for future updates.

Train2Game News Escape Studios Game Jam

The Future is Creative – it’s time to make your mark on the games industry by joining your peers and taking part in the annual Escape Studios’ Game Jam, from 22 nd – 24 th June at 190 High Holborn, London.

At the Escape Studios Game Jam, gain insight and advice from industry leaders, and learn about the creative job opportunities in the games space.

For the third year running, the Escape Studios’ Game Jam is going to be offering up-and-coming talent a chance to meet their peers and put their skills to the test. In a task set against the clock, teams will be challenged to create the best game to fit the brief and theme (the theme will be revealed at the start of the event!).

Team work, creativity, endurance and a desire to learn from your peers are all that is required in this annual game design competition, which is now in its third year.

Running from Friday 22nd June, through to Sunday 24th June, each team will get 48 hours to create and present their game to a panel of industry judges, in order to win an exclusive prize package!

Full Details on the weekend’s activities can be found below:

Exclusive Prize

Part of the grand prize is a Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia game code and exclusive t-shirt, with further prizes to be announced.

The Teams

Each team will consist of 4 gamers and members will be selected by the event organisers to ensure an even skill-set for each team. The Game Jam 2018 will be made up of a maximum of 6 teams, so get in early to secure your spot!

As part of the sign-up process, to secure your place, you will need to submit a £10 deposit, which will be refunded once the event is complete. The deposit will not be refunded if you do not turn up to take part after committing to do so.

The Competition

The theme of the Game Jam will be provided on the day and teams must make all components of their game over the weekend – no part of the game can be pre-made.

The competition will be judged on the game concept, design, art, relevance to the brief and overall delivery.

Mentors

We have teamed up with up with Industry body UKIE, Creative Assembly and 3D World Magazine to bring you top industry professionals to help build your ideas. Representatives will drop in over the course of the weekend, to offer advice and will be part of the final judging panel.

Additional judges also include Tom Constable, Seconded Level Designer at Creative Assembly. who has worked on games such as Total War, Alien Isolation and Halo Wars 2 ‘Awakening The Nightmare’. Escape Studios’ Head of Games, Simon Fenton, who has over 23 years’ experience in the games industry and has worked for the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Simon will also be on hand to provide mentoring and guidance over the weekend. In addition to Simon’s expertise, jammers will be joined by George O’Keefe, alumni of Escape Studios who is currently an Environment Artist at Rare Ltd.

The Venue

The Game Jam 2018 will be held at Escape Studios’ campus, 190 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BH, in central London (nearest tube – Holborn).

All participants must bring their own laptop, power cables, converters and any other equipment you may need. All participants are responsible for their own property – Escape Studios cannot be held liable for property damages or loss. We will be providing power supply and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as food and drink to get you going and everything you need to plan and brainstorm your ideas.

Timings

You will have access to the building within the below dedicated times, outside of these times you are free to work on your game as a team, at a location of your choice:

Friday 22nd June – 19:00 – 21:00pm

Game Jam Kick-Off – Full Briefing and Introduction to Industry Partners.

Saturday 23rd June – 07:00am

Development to commence – You will be given 24hour access to the facilities, to work on your game through the night (if you choose to!) until the end of judging on Sunday.

Sunday 24th June – 15:00pm

Game Jam to end, judging and announcement of winning team to take place.

You will be able to tweet the event across the weekend at @Escape_Studios and share images on Instagram @escapestudios by using #EscapeGameJam

Train2Game News Resident Evil 2

At the Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) E3 press conference, Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, unveiled the first look at the new Resident Evil® 2, one of the most highly anticipated games of all time.

Based on the original genre-defining masterpiece, the new game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up for a deeper narrative experience.

Using Capcom’s proprietary RE Engine, Resident Evil 2 offers a fresh take on the classic survival horror saga with breathtakingly realistic visuals, heart-poundingly immersive audio, a new over-the-shoulder camera, and modernized controls on top of gameplay modes from the original game. Resident Evil 2 brings its reimagined brand of horror to the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and Windows PC on January 25, 2019.

As one of the most influential and critically acclaimed video games of all time, the original Resident Evil 2 introduced some of the most memorable experiences and characters in the long-running Resident Evil franchise, which has sold over 83 million units worldwide. Originally released in 1998 on the PlayStation® console, the game continued the storyline of the first Resident Evil® and embodied the action, tense exploration and puzzle-solving gameplay that defined the series.

Resident Evil 2 introduced characters who would go on to become some of the most iconic and beloved heroes in Capcom’s history: rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield, who are thrust together by a disastrous outbreak in Raccoon City that transformed its population into deadly zombies. They must work together to survive and get to the bottom of what is behind the terrifying attack. Both Leon and Claire have their own separately playable campaigns, allowing players to see the story from both characters’ perspective.

Twenty years later, the new Resident Evil 2 sees the nightmare return, now with unprecedented levels of immersion as seen in last year’s acclaimed Resident Evil® 7 biohazard. With Capcom’s proprietary RE Engine powering a new photorealistic style, the characters themselves appear sharper than ever and the grotesque hordes of zombies are brought to life with a horrifyingly realistic wet gore effect. Zombies now react in real time as they take instant visible damage, making every bullet from the player count. Stunning lighting brings the familiar rooms and corridors of Raccoon City Police Department to new life. Players will feel they’re in the shoes of heroes Leon and Claire, terrified to step out of the light for fear of what flesh-eating nightmares might await them in the darkness.

“The press and fan reaction to Resident Evil 2 when we said ‘We Do It’ in 2015 has been overwhelming. We’ve been very eager to unveil the new game to the world this week,” said Capcom Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi. “We want fans to see the reimagining of Resident Evil 2 not only captures the magic of the beloved original, but also expands it to deliver a richer experience. The first look at E3 is just a taste of what’s to come.”

Attendees at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (Los Angeles, June 12-14) can get an early preview with the first hands-on demo opportunity for Resident Evil 2 at Capcom’s booth in the South Hall, #2223. There, they can experience a completely new take on one of the most iconic moments in the Resident Evil® franchise – joining Leon on his first day on the job at RPD as he explores the station for clues on how to make it out of this nightmare alive.

Train2Game News Game Dev Heroes

A new search for excellence in the games industry was announced today as the Game Dev Heroes initiative officially launched.

The only national awards ceremony to celebrate game developers for their individual contributions to their studios, teams and projects, the Game Dev Heroes aim to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes and hidden visionaries behind our favourite titles. Game Dev Heroes are now calling on industry professionals to nominate their studio’s heroes.

Anyone in the studio could be a winner, with categories spanning development, management, marketing and community, the studio ‘Unsung Hero’, and ‘Diversity Champion’. The submission deadline is Tuesday 19th June 2018. An award will also be given to highlight a member of the industry for their Outstanding Contribution, which will be chosen by the judging panel.

The awards are already garnering support with Aardvark Swift, GamesJobsDirect, Analog and Launchpad announced as the first sponsors. The judging panel is set to be announced shortly, composed of industry professionals across HR and senior management, who’ll be able to dig deep into the applications and really comprehend the achievements of those nominated. Simon Hope, Director and Lead Recruiter at headline sponsor Aardvark Swift, said ‘We’re delighted to be part of such a brilliant initiative. Games, projects and studios can only be as strong and successful as their dev team are, and we should recognise and celebrate those who’re making a personal contribution. We speak to so many talented people every single day who’re personally doing phenomenal things – those individuals deserve to be celebrated.’

The award winners are set to be announced on Tuesday 10th July as part of a Game Dev Heroes networking event, held in Brighton throughout Develop Conference week. The event is free to attend but will be ticketed entry – to be notified when tickets are available head over to http://www.gamedevheroes.co and sign up to the mailing list.

Please direct any queries relating to nominations, judging or sponsorship to
info@gamedevheroes.co and head over to www.gamedevheroes.co to take part.

Train2Game Fight in the streets again

Hadoken your way through gaming history with Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

This collection of 12 arcade-perfect Street Fighter games encapsulates a walk down memory lane with the video game phenomenon that impacted arcade culture, established the fighting game genre, and paved the way for esport events such as Capcom Pro Tour.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection marks the first time many of these arcade essentials are playable on consoles and PC. Street Fighter players can recreate the classic arcade gaming experience by competing against the CPU and friends locally, or challenge an opponent online in four online-supported games. An ultimate tribute to Street Fighter arcade legacy, this all-in-one package includes 12 classic titles with arcade-perfect balancing including:

Street Fighter
Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting*
Super Street Fighter II
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo*
Street Fighter Alpha
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Street Fighter Alpha 3*
Street Fighter III
Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact
Street Fighter III: Third Strike*

*Online play and Training Mode supported

While the collection stays true to the original arcade experiences, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection also includes some new features and options. New since the original arcade versions is a robust Training Mode that offers numerous options for players to customize their experience and train more effectively for their next match. Some of the options that are universal amongst all four games are the ability to turn on damage display, input display, dummy controls, and more.

When players need a break from the action, the collection invites fans to explore the franchise’s history with early game design documents, see how their favorite characters have evolved through character bios and sprite viewers, and even listen to some of its most memorable soundtracks via the game’s built-in music player.

Train2Game News Kinect recycled for medical needs

A new system which helps people with Parkinson’s disease overcome debilitating walking problems has been developed by researchers at Brunel University London.

Built using Microsoft’s now-obsolete Kinect peripheral, the system monitors for and detects freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s patients. When an occurrence is observed a laser casts visual cues on the floor according to the patient’s location, helping them release their gait and improve their movement.
It’s hoped the system, which was unveiled in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology and supported by Parkinson’s UK, can be further developed for installing in patients’ homes.

“Freezing of gait is one of the most disabling symptoms in people with Parkinson’s, affecting its sufferers by impacting their gait performance and locomotion,” said Dr Amin Amini, a researcher from Brunel’s Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, who lead the research.

“It is an episodic phenomenon that prevents the initiation or continuation of a patient’s locomotion, and it may lead to a loss of independence or frequent falls.”

The system, whose prototype cost just £137 to build, excluding its controlling PC, works by monitoring a patient’s leg movements in their own home. Whilst similar systems using Kinect have been tested previously, the new system specifically monitors the angle of the patient’s knee and their head direction, offering increased accuracy and a reduction in false positives.

Initially launched in 2010, the Microsoft Kinect is a motion-sensing device developed for use with a PC or Xbox. Whilst it was originally intended for gaming, the product proved popular with researchers and developers keen to find alternative uses.

Although the Kinect was discontinued as a commercial product in 2017, they are still easily obtainable second-hand.

“The main reason that Microsoft Kinect was used is that it doesn’t require the patients to attach any sensors to their bodies in order for the system to detect FOGs,” said Dr Amini.

“The Kinect can unobtrusively detect and track subjects’ body movements without any attachments, which makes it an ideal device for such applications.”
Once FOG is detected, the system casts two laser lines on the floor, perpendicular to the direction the patient is facing. This visual cue stimulates movement in the patient and helps relieve their gait.

“We tested the system’s capabilities and detection success rate by inviting healthy participants during the prototype phase, as well as inviting real Parkinson’s disease patients to a focus group, where we demonstrated our system in action,” said Dr Amini.

“The results showed the possibility of employing the system as an indoor and on-demand visual cue system for people with Parkinson’s, that does not rely on the subject’s input or introduce any additional complexities to operate.
“Despite limitations regarding its outdoor use, feedback was very positive in terms of domestic usability and convenience, with people with Parkinson’s showing interest in installing and using the system at their homes.”

Kinect4FOG: monitoring and improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s using a novel system incorporating the Microsoft Kinect v2 is published in the Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
For further information on Brunel’s research, please visit www.brunel.ac.uk/research

Train2Game News Personal Gaming Assistant Sam Launches

Sam aims to enrich the players gaming experience by connecting them with their game library, friends, community as well as most of Ubisoft services.

Starting today, Sam is available worldwide in English only and is currently in BETA. Sam is a chatbot that follows your in-game progression and provides you with real-time stats and tips. Sam leverages Google Cloud’s Dialogflow Enterprise Edition, which enables it to answer a large variety of topics related to Ubisoft games and services.

Sam entered its open BETA in Canada on January 24th and has not ceased evolving since launching – thanks to the support of the community.

Sam is now available on the Ubisoft® Club mobile application, which can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.

To learn more about Sam, have a look at our article on the ubiblog.
For more information about the Ubisoft® Club, please visit: https://club.ubisoft.com.

You can see it in action below

Train2Game News PLAY Expo London 2018

PLAY Expo, the UK’s largest arcade, indie and retro gaming show, comes to London’s Printworks for the first time on the 11th and 12th of August 2018.

A must attend event for any videogames fan, featuring hundreds of original arcade and pinball machines, plus consoles and PCs playing a virtual who’s who of gaming classics including Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter, Space Invaders, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, Super Mario Kart, Sensible Soccer, Super Mario Bros, GoldenEye 007 and Pokemon.

PLAY Expo also features a huge Minecraft zone, dedicated VR and tournament gaming areas and an Indie Zone, where you can play the best and brightest indie games of recent years. On the Expo stages you will find talks from gaming celebrities, Cosplay displays and tournaments for gamers of all skill levels! Special guests announced so far include:

Ashens Q&A, comedian, actor, author and Internet sensation
Stuart Ashen AKA Ashens will be appearing all weekend long, taking part in a YouTuber panel and Q&A. Ashens is best known for his YouTube channel, which boasts over 1.3 million subscribers. He has written two popular books about retro games – Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of and Attack of the Flickering Skeletons.

Mr Biffo aka Paul Rose of Digitiser
Remember Digitiser on Teletext? Paul Rose the writer behind Digitiser is appearing at PLAY Expo to talk about his new Kickstarter project to create Digitiser: The Show – an ambitious and anarchic retro gaming series.

The Oliver Twins present ‘The Evolution of Dizzy – the UK’s 80’s Iconic Gaming Hero’
The ‘Oliver Twins’ rose to fame in the 1980s when they developed the Simulator and Dizzy games franchises. They are probably the most prolific 8-bit game developers in the world, having created an amazing 53 games – 26 of which where #1 bestsellers. They founded Blitz Games in 1990 and built it into one of the most successful games studios in the UK. In 2012 they set up Radiant Worlds with co-founder Richard Smithies, which they recently sold to Rebellion.

Sensible Software founder Jon Hare: A Life In Games 1985-2018
Jon co-founded Sensible Software in the 1980s, the company went on to produce some of the most successful games of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Notable titles include the Sensible Soccer franchise, Cannon Fodder games, Wizball, Mega Lo Mania and Wizkid. More recently Jon has worked on an updated version of Speedball 2 as well as Sociable Soccer, the spiritual successor to Sensible Soccer.

Q&A with Mike Montgomery, founder of Bitmap Bros.
“The coolest Amiga developer ever, this studio did things in the early 90s that made their peers weep with envy.” Vice. Founded in 1987, The Bitmap Brothers are the original ‘rock star’ developers: a small but highly successful development team with a history of creating unique, critically and commercially acclaimed games. Continually striving for originality, attention to detail and new levels of playability, the company has been responsible for several of the games industry’s most memorable titles including the Xenon, Speedball and The Chaos Engine games series, Magic Pockets, Gods, Cadaver, Z and most recently the critically acclaimed RTS hit; Z: Steel Soldiers.

Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or haven’t touched a game in years, you will find yourself enthralled by the wealth of amazing gaming entertainment available at PLAY Expo. The fun starts on August 11th at London’s Printworks, SE16 and runs from 10am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit playexpolondon.com, facebook.com/playexpolondon/ and twitter.com/replayevents.

Tickets cost: Adults £20, Child £14, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £58 per day or Adults £34, Child £24, Family £96 for the Weekend ticket.

Train2Game News GamerToken Crypto

GamerToken is a new and exciting blockchain-project.

It allows gamers to truly own the virtual items they earn in-game. With the Ethereum-based token, unique cosmetic items will be made available in participating games, making it possible to reward players for exceptional in-game achievements.

The GamerToken system is the first to make in-game items truly distinctive when being equipped with unique skins, allowing players to earn recognition. Players can sell, buy and own these unique and one-of-a-kind collectibles via a secure and transparent marketplace which is based on a blockchain.

A public test version of GamerToken was launched in April in collaboration with the gamigo group, one of the leading game companies in Europe and North America.

To demonstrate the project, an ERC20-compatible test-token was implemented in a special demo version of the popular online roleplaying game Fiesta Online. In addition to this demo, a test version of GamerToken’s decentralized marketplace is available to trial. Both demos can be tried out on the GamerToken website.

“The GamerToken has the potential to radically change the trading and perception of in-game items. The marketplace can become a secure, transparent and universal trading post for online games of all kinds”, says Jens Knauber, CEO of the Laurel Foundry.

A Marketplace to unite game worlds
Rather than replacing existing in-game economies, GamerToken’s currency and marketplace are built to compliment them with additional functionality and freedoms for the player. It is a decentralized trading system in which players can buy, sell, and borrow their cosmetic items across different games. Therefore, the player can transfer his/her digital assets in the form of GamerToken for example from an online roleplaying game to an eSports shooter, and from there to a casual mobile game, and so on. In-game markets remain stable and effectively unaffected by such transactions.

A system of ‘smart contracts’ ensures the security and transparency requisite for high-value online transactions. The marketplace has an underlying security system that ensures comprehensive protection against theft and fraud.

Benefits for developers and players
Game developers gain the ability to design skins that are exclusive for the marketplace and link them to an ERC-721-GamerToken. The ERC-721 token guarantees the validity of unique items. The entire transactional history and the current item value on the blockchain will be quick and easy to gather. GamerToken introduces new and exciting possibilities in the in-game item trade. Ambitious players can increase the marketplace value of one of their items for example through their Twitch streaming channels by performing outstanding actions. For instance, a unique camouflage suit of an eSports sniper used in a pro-gamer’s eSports career can become a precious collectible when linked to a GamerToken, just like the signed jersey of a famous football player. In design competitions, gamers can design their own skin collections for online roleplaying games in exchange for recognition within the community as well as for GamerToken on the marketplace.

Considerably more information about the entire GamerToken project can be found on the GamerToken blog and on the website.

Train2Game News Prescription for Sleep

Scarlet Moon Records is thrilled to make available Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies Vol. 1 Remastered Version, a special re-issue of the award-winning 2014 album that features jazzy lullabies of game music classics.

The series features GENTLE LOVE, a jazz duo comprised of Metal Gear Solid/Bayonetta series composer Norihiko Hibino on sax and Etrian Odyssey/PersonaQ pianist AYAKI performing game music favorites in a jazzy lullaby style to sleep and relax to. The remastered version aligns the sound more closely to the rest of the series and adds two additional bonus tracks, including “Fisherman’s Horizon” from Final Fantasy VIII and an original composition by GENTLE LOVE titled “He Chose You.” Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies, Vol. I Remastered Version is fully licensed and available now:

The full track list is as follows:

01. Lifestream (Final Fantasy VII)
02. Dire, Dire Docks (Super Mario 64)
03. Song of the Ancients (NieR)
04. Lost Painting (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)
05. Maiden in Black (Demon’s Souls)
06. Main Theme (Genso Suikoden)
07. Singing Emotion (Chrono Cross)
08. A Wish… (Secret of Mana)
09. Auriel’s Ascension (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)
10. Aquatic Ambiance (Donkey Kong Country)
11. Fisherman’s Horizon (Final Fantasy VIII) [Bonus]
12. He Chose You (Original) [Bonus]

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to circle back around and give new life to the original album that started it all,” explains Scarlet Moon producer Jayson Napolitano. “We’ve already got the next volume recorded, and we’re currently mastering it and putting together artwork and other materials for a physical release, so please stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks and months!”

Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies has enjoyed six album releases including two compilation volumes, two more dedicated to Secret of Mana and UNDERTALE, respectively, a compilation of battle themes turned into lullabies, and a charity EP in honor of late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata.

For more information about the Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies series, visit the official website: http://www.scarletmoonproductions.com/sleep/