Train2Game News: Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford presenting developer session at Rezzed

Gearbox Software founder and CEO Randy Pitchford will be presenting a developer session at Rezzed, during which he’ll demonstrate Borderlands 2 and take questions from the PC and indie gaming show audience.

Borderlands 2 is one of a number of playable titles at the Brighton expo, which takes place on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of July. Pitchford’s developer session is on the Friday and gives any Train2Game students in attendance to ask the games industry veteran questions about the industry.

Gearbox Software titles include Half-Life: Opposing Force, Borderlands, Brothers In Arms, Duke Nukem Forever and the upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Tickets for Rezzed are available on the official website, and it’s looking to be an interesting event for Train2Game students to attend, with a variety of developer sessions including those from Introversion SoftwareThe Creative Assembly and Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood 

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with the latest news as the show approaches.

What would you ask Randy Pitchford at the developer session?

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

UK Charts: Duke Nukem Forever takes No.1

After 14 years away, the King is back with Duke Nukem Forever taking top spot in the UK chart in its first week on sale.

As reported by the Tain2Game blog, Duke Nukem Forever finally went gold last month after all those years in development Hell. Interested Train2Game students can find out much more about the long game development process behind Duke Nukem Forever in the Train2Game blog report of a Q&A session with Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford.

The debut success of Duke Nukem Forever finally knocks long time No.1 LA. Noire from the top of the chart down to No.2, while another former No 1, as reported by the Train2Game blog, in the form of Zumba Fitness climbs one to No.3.

infamous 2 enters the chart at No. 4, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, it’s a game Train2Game students should take an interested in due to the user generated content tools available for creating levels.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, Dirt 3 and former No.1 Brink all drop places down to No.5, No.6 and No.7 respectively. New entry Red Faction: Armageddon  enters at No.8, with much more information about the game available in a Train2Game blog interview with Lead Level Designer Jameson Durall.

He also stressed the importance of modding and user generated content to those looking to get into the games industry.

The remainder of the top ten is made up of familiar titles with Call of Duty: Black Ops at No.9 and Portal 2 at No. 10.  FIFA 11 drops out the top ten to No. 11.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 11th June 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Duke Nukem Forever (2K Games)
2. LA Noire (Rockstar)
3. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
4. inFamous 2 (Sony)
5. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney Interactive)
6. Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
7. Brink (Bethesada)
8. Red Faction: Armageddon (THQ)
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
10. Portal 2 (EA)

Releases this week include Child of Eden, Alice: Madness Retuns and Dungeon Siege III.

So Train2Game, is it a well deserved No.1 for Duke Nukem Forever? Is it just something that the game has been released? Have you tried the Infamous 2 level creator? And which game will be No.1 next week?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

UK Charts: L.A. Noire top for third week running

L.A. Noire, which as the Train2Game blog previously reported became the UK’s fastest selling new IP, is once again top of the UK Charts as compiled by UKIE.

The Rockstar published title from Team Bondi holds No.1 after a quiet week for new releases. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean rises one place and takes it’s third No.2 in the four weeks since release, while Dirt 3 drops one in its second week on sale.

Former No.1 – as reported by the Train2Game blog – Zumba Fitness holds No.4 while fellow former No.1 Brink is also a non-mover at No.5. There’s also no change for Wii Sports Resort at No.6.

Chart regulars Call of Duty: Black Ops and FIFA 11 switch positions in No.7 and No.8 respectively.  As reported by the Train2Game blog, Activision’s next Call of Duty title – Modern Warfare 3 – will be coming later this year.

Another former chart topper in the form of Portal 2 moves up three to No.9, while The Sims 3: Generations is the highest new entry this week at No. 10. The only other new entry this week is Hunted: The Demon’s Forge from independent game developer Inxile which debuts at No. 14.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 4th June 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. LA Noire (Rockstar)
2. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
3. Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
4. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
5. Brink (Bethesda)
6. Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo)
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
8. FIFA 11 (EA)
9. Portal 2 (EA)
10. The Sims 3: Generations (EA)

Big name releases this week include infamous 2, Red Faction: Armageddon, and…Duke Nukem Forever. Much more information about each of these is available on the Train2Game blog.

Infamous 2 is set to feature User Generated Content, find out how this could be a massive benefit for Train2Game students here on the blog.

Last week, the Train2Game blog featured an in-depth interview with Red Faction: Armageddon Lead Level Designer Jameson Durall. Subjects covered included Game Design, game development and how to get into the games industry.

And last month, the Train2Game blog got a massive insight into the long, long development of Duke Nukem Forever, thanks to the BAFTA Q&A event with Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford.

So Train2Game, which title do you believe will be No.1 next week? Which one of the new releases will you be going for? Or could L.A. Noire hold them all off?

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

Train2Game students thought it may never happen… Duke Nukem Forever goes gold

Duke Nukem Forever goes gold

Many of those on Train2Game courses probably thought it’d never happen, but Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold.

That means the game is game is now being pressed to disc, ready to ship for its 10th June release date. The announcement game from Publisher 2K and developer Gearbox Software today, and the fetching picture of Duke was released to celebrate the news.

Last week, the Train2Game blog published a three part feature about the Duke Nukem Forever Q&A session with Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford.

It’s worth checking out for Train2Game students,  not only to be reminded about Duke Nukem Forever, but the amount of effort that’s gone into making sure the game is released.

“Always bet on Duke, I did,” said Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford on Duke Nukem Forever going gold.

“I bet on all of the developers who have ever been a part of this legendary project and I bet that none of us want to live in a world without the Duke”

I’ve played the final game and it is an incredible experience – a once-in-a-lifetime opus of interactive entertainment that reminds me once again why Duke Nukem is our King.”

“The developers of Duke Nukem Forever at 3D Realms, Triptych, Piranha and finally at Gearbox deserve our thanks and respect for never giving up and have truly shown us that they have balls of steel!”

When the Train2Game blog reported that Duke Nukem Forever was being revived last year, some thought it may have been a hoax. But finally, after 14 years in development, Duke Nukem Forever is set for release on 10th June.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Duke Nukem Forever going gold? Will the game live up to expectations? And does it’s release say anything about never giving up when it comes to the games industry?

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

[Source: VG247]

Randy Pitchford’s BAFTA Duke Nukem Forever Game Developer Q&A – Part 2

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot 03

Recently, the Train2Game blog attended a very special Duke Nukem Forever Q&A session with Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford at BAFTA in central London.

During the hour long event, the Gearbox Software CEO discussed many issues of interest forTrain2Game students.

In Part 2 of our report, Pitchford speaks about Duke as a character, Game Design in Duke Nukem Forever and potential concepts of a Duke Nukem backstory that were dropped. Part 1 is available here on the Train2Game blog.

The Gearbox Software really made an effort to explain that Duke Nukem Forever doesn’t take itself too seriously, and when speaking about leads in games to day commented that…er… “most of our heroes have become pussies”

“Duke definitely has the biggest ego in the world. He wrote a book called ‘Why I’m So Great’ – who does that? But in his world, everyone loves him… He’s part of this crazy, fun house hall of mirrors universe where he is the centre of all of that goes on”

Pitchford likened the character of Duke, and the Game Design behind him, to Iron Man.

In many ways, it’s a similar thing to Iron Man’s Tony Stark. How awesome was that character? This guy’s super-rich, crazy-smart guy who can do whatever the hell he wants and he’s loved for it.

“What a wild character, and one of the reasons why I think that worked is the reason why Duke is kind of sticky right now. We are really in a time when most of our heroes have become pussies. Most of our heroes have become emo, and they take themselves so seriously.

“And we’re guilty of that too, I mean look at what we did with Brothers in Arms. With that, we really wanted to treat the subject matter with so much deference and wanted to get so real that we took a tone about sacrifice and real human emotion. These characters have real emotions and real problems.

“Duke doesn’t have any problems. He just kicks ass and so we have this world where heroes now are trying to be so human and so believable, that it’s actually surprisingly fresh to have this guy show up again and doesn’t give a crap. He’s just badass, wins, and that’s fine.

And while Duke Nukem Forever may seem simplistic in its nature – following the exploits of a gun toting hero who kicks ass and chew gum – Randy Pitchford revealed that the team had thought in depth about Game Design, and the possibility of giving Duke a sidekick – a gay robot sidekick.

“We were actually playing around with this backstory once where we came up with the concept of a sidekick, and that sidekick went right under a bus. No sidekick could hang with Duke. He was gay, and was actually an awesome character”

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot 04

Pitchford enthusiastically discussed how a gay sidekick for Duke wouldn’t be there as stereotypical homosexual character for the amusement of the player. But rather to explore how Duke Nukem would react to such a character.

“It was in thinking of an origin story for Duke when we wondered what characters he’d be interested in teaming up with. What kind of experiences can Duke have which can develop a guy like him?”

“Certainly, sexuality is a part of the Duke personality and yet here we wanted to explore how Duke could relate to a peer that might have a different sexual orientation. That was a really interesting theme to play with.”

Gearbox actually decided on a backstory for the character, and from the way Pitchford was speaking, you could tell they’d put a lot of thought into this particular element of scrapped Game Design…and hinted that it’s entirely possible it could return in future.

“I don’t want to spoil it too much because we might go there and I don’t want to ruin it, but I’ll tell you that the character was actually a robot! A gay robot. And the characters actually developed a great bond and depended and relied upon each other.”

“They were successful in Duke’s early endeavours. But at the end, in order for victory against the aliens, the robot’s inner workings – a nuclear generator – had to be sacrificed.”

Randy cheerfully conclused that he found it ironic these in-depth narrative and Game Design ideas were being discussed in relation to Duke Nukem Forever.

“It’s really weird to be talking about this because, we’re talking about Duke Nukem, and these are some really deep storytelling concepts that we were exploring there. But the exploration was very sincere and very real and maybe we’ll come back to it at some point.”

Part 3 of our report will be posted on the Train2Game blog tomorrow.

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

Randy Pitchford’s BAFTA Duke Nukem Forever Game Developer Q&A – Part 1

Duke Nukem Forever

Recently, the Train2Game blog attended a very special Duke Nukem Forever Q&A session with Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford at BAFTA in central London.

During the hour long event, the Gearbox Software CEO discussed many issues of interest for Train2Game students.

This included his path into the games industry, the history of the Duke Nukem franchise, Game Design concepts that were dropped during development, Borderlands and much, much more. Luckily, for those of you who didn’t attend the event, the Train2Game blog is here to give you a run down of the key points.

There was a lot of information, so we’ve decided to divide our feature into three pieces, with one published a day between now and Friday. So, be sure to stayed tuned to the Train2Game blog this week! Part one is right here.

The Duke Nukem Forever Q&A at BAFTA begun with Randy Pitchford talking about how he first started working was a game developer – something surely of interests to Train2Game students!

Like many who entered the games industry during the 1990s, Pitchford took his first steps into game development by programming computers as an amateur. (As the Train2Game blog recently reported, the Raspberry Pi could revive this era of bedroom coding)

The young Pitchford originally studied law at university – which he claims to have paid for through a part-time job as a magician – before dropping out to pursue a career as a game developer.

It’s a tale many Train2Game students surely see as familiar, with many now taking Train2Game courses with the aim of a brand new career.

Pitchford’s first role in the games industry as a game developer was at 3D Realms where he worked on…Duke Nukem 3D. He left the company in 1997 and went onto found Gearbox Software two years later. However, despite spending a relatively short period with Duke Nukem at 3D Realms, Pitchford said “I owe him my career”

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot 02

15 years later and it’s Gearbox Software that ensuring Duke Nukem Forever is finally released, and despite all of the delays, and the cancellations, Pitchford believes the game will be the “ultimate version” of 3D Realms vision.

But with the original Game Design concepts being thought of way back in the mid 1990s, will Duke Nukem Forever work in 2011? Pitchford not only believes that it will, but believes it could be the most complete FPS experience since Half-Life 2. (As the Train2Game blog has previously reported,  2004’s Half-Life 2 remains an inspiration to game developers)

“The gameplay, I’m really excited to see how people respond to that because when you think about Call of Duty and games like that you realise that games today have really started to become narrow” he told the the BAFTA Audience.

“A shooter is now just an exercise of reaction-time skill test after reaction-time skill test. Get your cursor on the next guy and knock him down before he gets your health to zero, and every test is just a complication of that very simple [Game Design] mechanic”.

“Sometimes a new mechanic will be introduced like stunning guys and performing combos, or sliding on things and jumping around environments. Whatever it is, at the end of the day they all focus on that same one mechanic”

“It’s been a while since we had a game that was comfortable having pacing and variety from action to puzzle-solving to exploration and discovery. Even just non-sequiturs, like all the interactive stuff we have in Duke are total non-sequiturs but it’s just entertainment, right?

“It’s been a while since we’ve had that; I think the last great one for me was Half Life 2. So I’m excited for Duke to show up and have some of this because I think it will remind everyone how great that kind of experience is and it may motivate some more of us to remember that you don’t have to have all these one-trick ponies in terms of gameplay mechanics.”

Parts 2 and 3 of our report will be posted on the Train2Game blog on Thursday and Friday this week.

Duke Nukem Forever release next year – Not a joke!

Duke Nukem ForeverThirteen years. Yes, thirteen years after Duke Nukem Forever looks like it’ll finally see the light of day. The Duke is set to return next year in Duke Nukem Forever thanks to 2K Games and Borderlands developer Gearbox Software.

Duke Nukem Forever, which last year was officially cancelled when developer 3D Realms collapses, featured as a playable demo at the Penny Arcade Expo. Pigs might be flying as Gearbox Software say development of Duke Nukem Forever is complete. Meanwhile, a press release from 2K Games about Duke Nukem Forever is certainly setting the right mood for The King’s return.

“Duke Nukem, the interactive entertainment industry’s most irreverent and quoted character of all time, will bring his signature brand of babe-lovin’, cigar-smoking, beer-chugging and ass-kicking action as he once again saves the Earth and our babes from hordes of invading aliens.”

They also point out that Duke Nukem Forever was first announced before Bill Clinton had started his second term as President of the United States.

President of 2K, Christopher Hartmann, says Duke Nukem Forever will be worth the wait.

“All great things take time… a lot of time, after a hiatus from the video game world; Duke Nukem is back and better than ever. The return of the King from the glory days of shooters will satisfy our patient, die-hard fans, as well as a new generation of bubble gum-chewing, flat top and shades-wearing bad-asses. Make no mistake about it – Duke Nukem Forever is a testament to the era of when shooters were bodacious and fun.”

President of Gearbox Software Randy Pitchford said Duke Nukem Forever will definitely be released.

“Hail to the king, baby! It’s unbelievable, it kicks ass and it’s totally going to happen!”

“Gearbox has enabled die-hard key Duke Nukem franchise builders and skilled veteran game makers to stand together and deliver. All gamers deserve a happy ending and after all of us gamers feeling the full range of emotions about Duke Nukem Forever, I am thrilled to be in a position with the trust, power and means to make it happen. Am I crazy? Balls of steel, baby, balls of steel!”

If somehow you’re a Train2Game students who’s unfamiliar with Duke Nukem Forever (or the Duke Nukem Franchise in general) this release from 2K Games should tell you all you need to know…

“Put on your sunglasses and prepare to step into the boots of Duke Nukem, whose legend has reached epic proportions in the years since his last adventure. The alien hordes are back and only Duke can save the world, again. Pig cops, alien shrink rays and enormous alien bosses won’t stop our hero from accomplishing his one and only goal: to save the world, save the babes and to be a bad-ass while doing it.”

“The King of All Shooters is back with over-the-top weapons, massive aliens and unprecedented levels of interactivity. This game puts pedal to the metal and tongue firmly in cheek, among other places. Shoot hoops, lift weights, read adult magazines, draw crude messages on whiteboards or ogle one of the many beautiful women that populate Duke’s life; that is if you can pull yourself away long enough from kicking ass and taking names. Duke Nukem was and will forever be immortalized in gaming history, and this is his legend.”

Duke Nukem Forever is set to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC during 2011. Yes, really.

So Train2Game, do you believe it that Duke Nukem Forever will finally be released? Or will you only believe it when you see Duke Nukem Forever on the shelves? And do you want Duke Nukem Forever when it’s released. (If it is)

Leave your thoughts about Duke Nukem Forever here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.