Train2Game News Student in BAFTA programme

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Indie Developer taught by Train2Game selected for BAFTA programme

Nicola Valcasara amongst the elite of the UK games industry accepted to join BAFTA Crew Games 2014

Professional video games creator who learnt his craft with Train2Game, joins experienced UK games developers in exclusive BAFTA scheme. Nicola Valcasara has taken one of 100 places available for Game Practitioners requiring at least two years professional experience in the games industry in the UK. The programme provides exclusive access to: Games Industry mentors, live QAs and podcasts, networking opportunities and scientific research in Game Design. 

Nicola has an outstanding reputation in the Train2Game community, having won a previous design competition with Rapid2D. He now works with another previous TrainGame student, Darroch McNaught, at Indie studio DeuXality Games. He’s set to learn a tremendous amount from  the course, masterclasses and online livestreams cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games 2014 is an interactive programme – working with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs.

Working with partners Creative Skillset and Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games 2014 will shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.

Nicola Valcasara, “I applied at the BAFTA Crew games 2014 in September, thanks to a research on the net about funding and game developing events. Now I have been accepted, this is a very nice way to show my face around and I hope it will move me one step further inside the Games Industry. This is a great opportunity to be involved in an interactive programme focused on making wonderful products and allowing me to meet important people in the game industry. I’ll also get to meet the other 99 people like me and share ideas and future projects.”

Train2Game News Game Salary Survey

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Leading game industry website Gamasutra, a UBM Tech property, revealed the results of its annual Game Developer Salary Survey.

Results can be viewed in PDF format, as well as Gamasutra’s dedicated Salary Survey page http://www.gamasutra.com/salarysurvey2014.pdf.

The survey showed that, overall, salaried game developers in the U.S. made $83,060 on average in 2013, down 2% from 2012. Business and management salaries topped all other disciplines once again this year, averaging $101,572, followed by audio professionals ($95,682) and programmers ($93,251). Quality assurance professionals earned the lowest average salary at $54,833.

Conducted in May 2014 for the period between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, Gamasutra gathered well over 4,000 unique responses worldwide, with help from market research company Audience Insights.

“There were major transitions in 2013 that affected the way game developers make a living,” said Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft. “Whether talking about the advancements in the democratization of game development, or the release of a new generation of consoles, it was a year in which the disruption and chaos of prior years settled in just enough for game developers to identify and adapt to a new reality. Despite the challenges, there’s still an undercurrent of enthusiasm.”

Key findings from the survey:

– Average annual pay among U.S.-based salaried game developers in 2013 was $83,060 (down 2%)

– Worldwide, solo indies made an average of $11,812 (down 49%)

– Worldwide, members of an indie team averaged $50,833 (up 161%)

– Per discipline, average U.S. salaries were:

            Programmers: $93,251
            Artists and animators: $74,349
            Game designers: $73,864
            Producers: $82,286
            Audio professionals: $95,682
            Quality Assurance: $54,833
Business and management: $101,572

– Canadian developers averaged USD $71,445 (up 9%)
– European developers averaged USD $46,232 (flat)

Download the full Salary Survey results in PDF form here: http://www.gamasutra.com/salarysurvey2014.pdf

Train2Game News NaturalMotion hiring spree

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CEO Torsten Reil says the tool maker and games studio wants to recruit a ‘sizeable’ number of staff as it aims to create ‘something truly amazing’ on mobile platforms

NaturalMotion has begun a “sizeable” recruitment drive intended to help the studio expand its offering of console-quality mobile games.

The games and tool maker is hiring for numerous positions at varying levels, ranging from game design to producers and product leads for its Oxford, London and Brighton studios, CEO Torsten Reil told Develop.

“We are attempting to create console-quality games on mobile that go way beyond what people have seen before. For that we need to have the best people in the industry,” Reil said.

“We’re looking to grow our teams with designers, programmers and project managers in order to achieve those goals. But we’re also looking to fill some of the gaps we have in our teams, some of which are already fully functional, but some of them aren’t yet.”

NaturalMotion is best known for its animation middleware Euphoria and Morpheme, which have been in used in the likes of GTA IV and BioShock Infinite respectively. Its in-house development teams have created successful mobile hits such as My Horse, Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing.

While its middleware is built to handle the demands of console game development, Reil says its team sizes are unusually slim by comparison.

“Our team sizes are quite small compared to a console studio, usually 20 to 25 people. But the output is quality high-end, so we need to have the best people to achieve that.”

Reil said the reason devs should choose to work at NaturalMotion is because “we have ambition”.

He explained: “We try to do something truly amazing. And hopefully people can see than in our games – it’s not lip service.

“We really try to push the boundaries all the time. And that means that, working here, there’s a sense of purpose. This not a job just to earn money or to make a few nice games. This is a job to move millions and millions of people. And that is what drives us. And if we find people or talent who are hungry and who want to do that, I think it’s a great combination.”

In addition to display and online advertising, the UK developer also visits game events and hosts some of its own, such as one recently held for data scientists, where attendees gave talks and shared knowledge.

The studio, which currently employs more than 200 staff, is headquartered in Oxford and has studios in London, Brighton and San Francisco. It was acquired earlier this year by social game maker Zynga for £317m ($527m).

Train2Game Student Diaries James Bouckley EMPLOYED BY UNITY!

Train2game student James Bouckley has been on the T2G Work Placement scheme and has now found FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT – Well Done James!!!

James picks up the story:

Week 20 w/e 20/7/12

Why leave the good news until the end, I got a full time job at Unity!

This means my diary entries will be coming to a close soon but I’ll keep anyone who reads them updated until the end.  So apart from the amazing news had a fairly good week in terms of work done too.

In the game there was a bug where if all the spawn points for the enemies were on the camera at once then it threw and exception.  I fixed this by, if all of them were on the screen at once, the enemies spawn from the one furthest from the player.

Previously we had a system where power packs needed to be put on a dispensing machine whilst you fought off enemies.  When the energy of the machine was full it would dispense items.  I’ve changed it now so that instead there are waves of enemies and the last one you kill dispenses items.  There was also a fairly major memory leak in the script that made items between you and the camera invisible which I have now fixed and also made it so that multiple things at once can become invisible.

Aside from the game Graham has asked me to write a beginners guide to asset bundles.  I finished the first draft on Friday but I am yet to hear people’s opinions on it.

To sum up: new job! YES!

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