Train2Game News: OpenWheel Kickstarter

OpenWheelA Train2Game Student; Laurence Gee, has begun working full time with games developer Brain in a Jar who have started an initiative to receive funding through Kickstarter for their latest game; OpenWheel.

Laurence joins the company as a full time employee to help develop OpenWheel and the company are requesting further support from the Train2Game community to make the game a reality. Laurence joined Brain in a Jar in February of 2011 on a Train2Game work placement scheme and he is now happily in full time employment as a 3D artist in the studio.

Brain in a Jar, has been developing racing games since 1998 and are based right next to Oulton Park race track in Cheshire. Racing is built in to the very foundation of the company. The company has worked on big games like Indycar and NASCAR, independent games of its own and has worked with some great developers on AAA games like: Driver: San Francisco and Need For Speed.

OpenWheel is an online multiplayer racing game which is fully customisable. There are no static 2D lobby screens to sit in waiting for a race to start. Once you have chosen your chassis and the track you want to race on you are taken straight into the action, you can even join mid-race. You can define, create and run your own global championships, or join existing ones. Become your own FIA and create a world championship for your friends and the best racers to come and compete in.

This is truly an immersive, passion filled racing game created by fans of high speed racing. The game is a fantastic concept with hours of playability and Brain in a Jar deserve all the pledges they can get on Kickstarter.

If you would like to pledge and view there great video, you can do so by going to www.kickstarter.com/projects/braininajar/openwheel

If you want to found out more about the studio go to www.braininajar.co.uk

Train2Game News: LittleBigPlanet and Driver: San Francisco writer to talk games writing at GameCityNights

Train2Game students can get an expert insight into games writing from LittleBigPlanet and Driver: San Francisco writer Dean Wilkinson when he appears at GameCityNights later this month.

GameCityNights are monthly events which take place in Nottingham that explore video games and the culture around them.

Not only does Wilkinson have plenty of experience in video games writing, he’s also written comedy for TV, radio and books.

“This is the first writing-focused gig we’ve staged at GameCityNights, so it’s a privilege and an honour o be welcoming one of the best in the business along” said GameCity Director Iain Simons.

Bennett Foddy, creator of QWOP, GIRP and Pole Riders and Ed Key, creator of Proteus, will also appear at the event sharing their inspirations and aspirations over Skype.

GameCityNights Episode 5 takes place in Nottingham on Thursday 31st May from 6pm. Tickets cost £5 in advance, and can be booked at http://nights.gamecity.org

Previous speakers at GameCityNights include Dear Esther creator Dan Pinchbeck. There’s more information here on The Train2Game Blog.

Will you be going to GameCityNights later this month? What would you be most interested in finding out?

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

Reflections promise ‘accessible’ Driver: San Francisco.

Driver San Francisco

As many Train2Game students will know, whether a game is easy to pick up and play or not can sometimes hold the key to its success.

Perhaps with this in mind, Reflection’s upcoming Driver: San Francisco will be “more accessible than any other Reflections game” Lead Designer Jean-Sebastien Decant told Edge, and that the return of the series has been focused on “Accessibility.”

The news may be disappointing to any Train2Game students that appreciated the challenge of previous games in the Driver series, but Decant insists it’s not about making Driver: San Francisco easy.

“In the history of Reflections they have made tough games for hardcore gamers. And this one, the core experience is more accessible than any Reflections game.” he said.

“It’s not about making it easy, it’s about having the right ‘helpers’ so that the AI is challenging but not unfair – for chases, races, getaways. The player has to know what he has to do in an instant”

“Having the proper information always displayed – especially in a game where you can be in any car at any time, where we change the gameplay a lot from one mission to another – accessibility applies to signs, feedback, UI.”

The concept of accessibility also applies to the Game Design of Driver San Francisco‘s online multiplayer, with the ‘Shift’ mechanic allowing players to switch vehicles instantly in an effort to give players who crash at the first corner a chance. Studio manager Gareth Edmonson explains why:

“There’s always been a problem with multiplayer games, that you crash into the first corner and you’re out of the action,” he said. “Shift totally changes that, and it creates a much more accessible, much more engaging experience. It totally changes the way you play the game.”

This Game Design feature intended to level the online playing field may be appreciated by some Train2Game students, but those who enjoy a challenge may not approve!

The whole accessibility issue sounds familiar to Bioware’s claims – reported by the Train2Game blog – that the Game Design of Dragon Age 2 is ‘more welcoming’ to novice players rather than dumbed down.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the ‘accessibility’ of Driver: San Francisco? Is it a positive or a negative thing? Is it something you’ll consider when developing games? And which games do you believe have the right balance between being accessible but challenging at the same time?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Edge]