Train2Game News Northern Exposure Event

The Northern Exposure conference returns to the Discovery Museum, Newcastle this week on Thursday 12th September.

Bringing together industry experts from the UK, Europe, and the US to discuss the business of games, Northern Exposure promises to be the most inspirational, thought-provoking, and explorative to date with topics ranging from leadership, publishing and marketing to art, technology, and design.

Leading the proceedings as MC for the day will be George Osborn, Head of Communications at Ukie. Northern Exposure’s line up for the day includes:

Dante Buckley, Founder at Downpour Interactive
Take a Chance: What I learned in Remote Game Development & VR

Alex Peters, Senior VP at SEGA Searchlight
Two Point Studios: a journey with SEGA Searchlight

Si Lumb, Senior Producer at BBC R&D
Virtualisation, convergence and the emergence of Metamedia

Colin Macdonald, Director at All 4 Games
Lessons from both sides of the pitching table

Becky Jackson, Client Service Director at Atomhawk
The Value of Art

Craig Duncan, Studio Head at Rare Ltd
Superhero leadership in games

Tracey McGarrigan, CEO and Founder at Ansible PR & Comms
Think Long, Go Big; how a long tail PR & Marketing strategy can help indies succeed

Gabrielle Kent, Writer and Narrative Consultant
Creating Characters and Worlds without Limits

Secret Sauce’s Managing Director and Conference Producer Carri Cunliffe said: “We can’t wait to welcome all our expert speakers to Newcastle, and are delighted to have George as our host for the day. His experience as a journalist, event organiser, and business owner means he’s well versed in the business of games and we’re excited he will be leading us through a packed day of inspiring chat. It’s going to be a busy day for the business of gaming in Newcastle and it’s gaming community.”

Exhibitors on the day include:

Coatsink
Formed in 2009, Coatsink develop, fund, and publish Indie Games and has grown into a diverse and versatile development studio who have created platformer and puzzle games for console and PC, plus a plethora of games for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go. Coatsink is at Northern Exposure looking for fantastic talent to join their growing team in Sunderland, UK.

Wolf and Wood, Hotel R’n’R
The VR game where you are a failed musician who makes a deal with me, the Devil. I give you musical talent, infamy and hard cash, and all you have to do is smash up some hotel rooms for me. Build up your armoury with weapons from Hell’s own pawn shop – oh and don’t let the maid in.

TUCan Studio
The TUCan Studio is an award winning and innovative in-house digital production studio based in the School of Computing & Digital Technologies at Teesside University. Working in partnership with the private and public sector our experienced academic staff work alongside top graduate talent to create R&D solutions and final products in animation, immersive technologies, film production, app development, 360, AI and data analytics.

Escape Technology
A reseller and technical support company based in the UK and Germany. For over ten years they’ve been working with computer graphics artists and studios to bring them the best hardware, software, and infrastructure to deliver their work.

Cyberpower
Ranging from the ultimate gaming rig, to the stand alone office system, Cyberpower endeavour to create the best possible PC system for your needs, and importantly your budget. With their extensive list of component choices, they guarantee to create the PC of your dreams, exactly how you imagined it to be!

Invest North East England
The team will be chatting to anyone interested in finding out more about the North east and it’s gaming community.

Northern Exposure is powered by Invest North East England, Invest Newcastle and Escape Technology, Coatsink, Atomhawk and Tag Games

The last few remaining tickets are available now via https://www.north-expo.co.uk/

Keep up to date with all the action on the day and further announcements by following Northern Exposure on twitter @north_expo

Train2Game News Interactive Futures Event

The UK’s newest games conference and festival, Interactive Futures, is delighted to announce full details of the Academic Conference taking place on the first day of the 3 day festival on Thursday 31 January 2019.

The sessions will also be hosted at Warwickshire College and feature a range of esteemed academic speakers.

The Academic Conference will allow academics and researchers, plus school, college and university students an opportunity to enjoy the insights available as part of Interactive Futures. The programme on Thursday 31 January covers a range of topics across 3 key areas; Contexts and Histories, Innovation and Application and Users and Impacts, with 12 individual sessions throughout the day.

Hosted by Warwickshire College, speakers on the programme will be representing University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, Birmingham City University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Totem Learning Ltd and, of course, Silicon Spa itself.

Steve Taylor, Dean of Higher Education at Warwickshire College, commented, “We are really pleased to be hosting the Interactive Futures Academic Conference which has an exciting and diverse line-up of speakers who will be presenting research and work which is at the forefront of developments in both leisure and serious gaming. Warwickshire College students are studying Foundation and full honours degrees in Games Art right in the heart of Silicon Spa, and this conference will also be a great opportunity for them to gain insights into the industry, careers and further research opportunities”

Specific sessions at the conference include Historical Perspectives on ‘Serious Gaming’, Exploring Video Games to Teach Digital Skills, The Politics of VR: Who Are We Developing For?, and Can Fantasy Games Impact Behaviour in the “Real World”? among others. The full session timetable can now be viewed at www.interactive-futures.com.

The Academic Conference will form day 1 of the 3 days of Interactive Futures, which will also be hosting sessions across Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa. Leamington Spa (known as Silicon Spa) is one of the UK’s largest games clusters outside of London, with a wealth of both AAA studios and indie developers at the heart of its success. The cluster employs over 2500 highly skilled individuals and equates to over 10% of the total UK games development workforce.

Other sessions throughout the 3 day event will focus on industry specific technical insight, accessibility in games, access to finance for game developers, the latest in influencer marketing, career opportunities and much more. Speakers include representatives from Playground Games, Playstation, UKIE, Space Ape Games and others. For the latest news please visit www.interactive-futures.com

As well as the conference programme visitors to Interactive Futures can immerse themselves in the Games Showcase, featuring a range of companies showcasing new releases and opportunities throughout the event, as well as a range of soon to be announced Fringe events around the town.

Interactive Futures will take place at the Royal Spa Centre on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February and will be preceded by the academic conference for colleges and universities at Warwickshire College on Thursday 31st January.

Tickets for the Academic Conference are priced at £50 and are available now from www.interactive-futures.com.

Tickets are also available to purchase as a 2 day festival pass joint with a Friday ticket..

Train2Game News PC Connects London

Everything you know about PC games development is wrong… or at least it soon will be.

In 2019, the PC games industry is going to change significantly and forever.

Steam’s dominant position is starting to wane with challenges from multiple directions, including renewed competition from the likes of Origin and GOG, newcomers including Discord and Tencent’s WeGame as well as publishing giants like Activision, Bethesda and CD Projekt deciding to go it alone.

Thought to be dead, the streaming market has received a new lease on life with big players like Microsoft, EA and Google adding their considerable weight to this sector, with speculation from top publishers including Ubisoft that this is the industry’s future.

Fellow tech giants Microsoft promise the advent of Netflix for games with new rental models. New cloud tech innovations such as Improbable’s SpatialOS will make it easier than ever to make bigger, more immersive games, whilst other technology such as blockchain will offer new ways to engage and involve users.

Investment and consolidation will continue so we’ll see more companies acquired like Jagex or floated like Team 17.

Meanwhile, the volume of games flooding the market will put ever more pressure on discovery, old-school premium games will be challenged by free-to-play and service-based projects that demand more player time, marketing is more of a challenge than ever and channels will continue to evolve, while the Asian markets’ rise to dominance continues unabated.

PC Connects London
On January 21st and 22nd, 2019, PC Connects London will shine a light on all of these trends and more. It will explain the realities of the current markets, and offer developers, publishers and the whole industry essential strategies to survive and thrive. Plus the continuation of IPOs, acquisitions and new splintered startups.

We’ll bring together representatives of key players from across the ecosystem – the marketplaces, both triple-A and indie publishers, the indie developers, the tool makers and the analysts. We’ll have representatives from the biggest and best companies from all around the world.

500 delegates will hear from 50 speakers from the world of PC gaming as they deliver five conference tracks covering everything from getting your game to market to 2019: The PC Revolution.
https://www.pgconnects.com/london/pc-connects/

Five conference tracks
Kicking things off is the returning State of Play, which will be taking the pulse of the market as it is right now, with our lineup of speakers and overall smart people sharing data to give an indication of what the current zeitgeist is.

Digital Discovery also makes a comeback, giving attendees insight into how to get games noticed in a saturated marketplace where consumers have more choice than ever.

Codeshop: Design and Development replaces last year’s PC Games University, providing technical talks that will take the audience behind the scenes on the biggest games to give them an edge over the competition.

Finishing off the first day is The Long Game which charts the shift from fire-and-forget retail releases and gives insight and advice into running a service-based project – both from a development standpoint and a community/marketing one.

And now the main event – The PC Revolution. This will be looking at the shifts happening in the market right now and looking at what impact they will have on the PC games space. We’ll be covering new tech, changes in the retail space, shifting business models and how to capitalise on emerging markets such as China.

Indies, mobile and blockchain too
As well as the vibrant indie showcase expo space, PC Connects London is also the setting for the first PC Indie Pitch of 2019, kicking off another hot year of competition around the world.

Your ticket will also give you full access to Pocket Gamer Connects with all the benefits of insight from the mobile development ecosystem, as well as our first iteration of Blockchain Gamer Connects on UK soil, shining a light on another disruptive technology.

Book Now!
Early Bird tickets are available now for a 20 per cent discount. Book your tickets at https://www.pgconnects.com/london/registration/

Train2Game News VRFocus event in London

VRFocus Ltd., the UK-based specialist media outlet focusing on immersive technology has today announced a new event in collaboration with Realities Centre London, to bring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences being shown off at this year’s Gamescom event to London for a special showcase.

The Post Gamescom #XR Review will play host to a number of developers and studios from the UK and showcase their projects; allowing people not able to attend the world’s largest videogame convention this August another chance to get hand-on and find out more about those utilising VR and AR.

Amongst those currently confirmed are Cherry Pop Games with Football Nation VR, Dream Reality Interactive and Rebellion’s physics-based platform title Arca’s Path VR and The Persistence, Firesprite’s roguelike horror for PlayStation VR.

Along with the opportunity to play the videogames on show there will also be a number of speakers and a panel discussing VR and AR’s role at this year’s Gamescom event and the latest in immersive technology news. Led by VRFocus.com Editor and CEO Kevin Joyce and the website’s Video Production Manager Nina Salomons.

“The UK XR community is hugely passionate, and the Realities Centre is keen to enable everyone access to all the latest developments whether or not they have the budget to attend international trade shows. Partnering with VRFocus for the Post Gamescom #XR Review enables Realities Centre further reach into the UK community and to attract the biggest names in XR.” said Thomas Gere, Realities Centre CEO.

“Gamescom is always a highlight in the annual videogames event calendar, and over the years has become one of the biggest showcases for new and exciting hardware and software. Working with UK developers to bring their titles back to UK audiences is exactly the kind of opportunity that VRFocus was always designed to provide.”, added Kevin Joyce, VRFocus CEO and Editor.
The event takes place on Thursday, 6th September 2018, at the Realities Centre at Huckletree West, Mediaworks, White City in London.

Applications for tickets can be made at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vr-gaming-showcase-with-gamescom-review-in-association-with-vrfocus-tickets-45551446603.

Regular tickets are free, and demos and talks will begin at 7PM. Those who purchase a VIP ticket however will be able to gain access to the demos an hour earlier. Please See the Eventbrite listing for further details.

Train2Game News Writing for video games event

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and London Writers’ Week have announced a writing for video games panel event, which will take place as part of this year’s London Writers’ Week and which will provide access to advice from some of the UK’s leading video games writers.

Taking place on Friday 20th July at 12 – 1pm, the event will be chaired by Writers’ Guild of Great Britain video game committee member David Varela, whose credits include writing the mobile adventure Sherlock: The Network, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, script consultancy on the chart-topping mobile game Zombies, Run! (which was nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award), and writing the murder mystery game The Trace and who is currently narrative designer on an undisclosed project at Criterion Games.

Speakers for the panel event will also include Olivia Wood, who was recently selected by BAFTA as a 2017 Breakthrough Brit, and Rhianna Pratchett, who is an award-winning writer for games, comics, film, TV and short stories whose work has received awards from the WGA, the WGGB, DICE, SXSW, and a BAFTA nomination. Rhianna has written for DC, Dark Horse and Dynamite (notably writing an origin story for Red Sonja’s chain-mail bikini) and is currently working on film and TV projects with the Jim Henson Company, Film4, Big Talk and O3 Productions.

The final panelist will be Andrew S. Walsh who is an award-winning writer/director with credits across film, television, theatre, radio, animation and videogames. To date he has worked on videogames such as The Division 2, Prince of Persia, Lego City: Undercover, Risen, Harry Potter, Fable Legends and Need for Speed. His film work includes the English version of Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, while his time in television includes BBC’s Raven, Emmerdale, Byker Grove, Risk, and Family Affairs. His theatre work includes Wind in the Willows which is touring South London this summer.

Jennifer Tuckett, Director of London Writers Week said: “We are delighted to be able to include this excellent event from The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s video game committee in this year’s London Writers’ Week. Writing for video games is an important opportunity for writers to know about and, as part of London Writers’ Week’s aim to provide access to and showcase the best new ideas going on in new writing in the UK each year, this year in terms of film, we are delighted to be able to provide access to advice from some of the writers leading the way in terms of writing for video games, in partnership with The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s video games committee”.

The event continues the relationship between The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and London Writers’ Week, and The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain has been a supporter of London Writers’ Week since its creation four years ago.

This year’s London Writers’ Week is also donating 100% of all profits to organisations promoting diversity in the arts. The organisations which will be supported by this year’s London Writers’ Week are The Diversity School Initiative, which campaigns for greater diversity in drama schools and whose board members include Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, Actor Awareness, which campaigns for working class actors and writers and who recently made “The Acting Class” documentary with Maxine Peake, Christopher Eccleston and others, the London Playwrights Blog, an invaluable resource providing access to opportunities and advice, and University Women in the Arts, which aims to improve the transition from women studying the arts to working in the arts.

For more information and to book tickets please go to: www.londonwritersweek.com

Train2Game News Peterborough hosts CityLAN event

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Peterborough is set to be transformed into a mecca for UK gamers this August as 20,000 people descend on the inaugural  CityLAN event in the city, featuring some of the biggest stars in European gaming.

Held at the ABAX Stadium (home to Peterborough Football club) and Future Business Centre the event will feature key players in the European Gaming League (EGL) and UbiSoft Lead Game Designer Tim Browne (currently developing the new Assassin’s Creed Syndicate), who will join via video link from France to deliver a keynote address.

Other attendees include renowned Peterborough e-Gamer Ash Dubh who has close to 500,000 YouTube subscribers and Dr Mata Haggis, Professor of Creative and Entertainment Games at Breda University of Applies Sciences in The Netherlands.

There will also be a strong focus on careers in technology, with an active push to engage with students and younger people. Local organisation Digital People in Peterborough (DPiP) will be using hardware from robotics firm Arduino to teach visitors how to build a robot as part of this section of the event. There will be further talks and Q&As on computing, app design and development and wearable technology.

With a exhibitors, gamers and attendees alike expected to gobble through terabytes of data between August 20th and 23rd, CityLAN is being powered by four dedicated, pure fibre gigabit speed network connections provided by  CityFibre. The connections are part of CityFibre’s recently completed 90km network installation in Peterborough called the Peterborough CORE.

Along with hundreds of gaming demos, live play sessions and high profile exhibits, all reliant on a strong network connection, live gaming sessions, streamed speaker slots and demonstrations will be live-streamed to a big screen in Cathedral Square in Peterborough city centre and around the world.

Both CityLAN and CityFibre have worked in close partnership and consultation to ensure the network is able to support all the demands of running an event that is amongst the most data hungry in the world. An experienced team of engineers will closely monitor the connections throughout the event.

Terry Harris, Director at CityLAN said: “Bringing an event of this size to Peterborough is massively exciting. Some of the names attending are superstars in their own right and there is a huge appetite from the British gaming community to attend.

“Having CityFibre as a partner is something we are most thankful for – as many gamers know exceptional Internet and ultra-low latency is a must and with so many people in attendance a robust connection is one of  the most important ingredient to CityLANs success. We’re confident all our attendees – from gamers to those watching key note addresses from overseas will enjoy a high quality experience throughout.”

CityFibre City Development Manager, Andrew Starnes added: “ We’ve been turning Peterborough into a ‘Gigabit City’ and the response we’ve had from local businesses shows just how digitally focused this region is. We’re very proud to be able to bring these dedicated lines, which will provide some of the fastest speeds in the world, to the CityLAN event to ensure it’s a true Gigabit Games.”

To find out more and book tickets go to http://www.citylan.co.uk/live/

Train2Game News Nethermined event

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The first event of its kind to be held in the north east region of England, Nethermined (netherminded.com) is a family-friendly, unofficial extravaganza offering an exclusive opportunity to meet some of the world’s biggest Minecraft YouTubers.

Not just about gaming, Nethermined is the result of an exuberant Minecraft fan demand for an event in the north east England region, gearing up to be an exciting two days of Q&A sessions, chances to meet YouTubers, live gaming as well as the premiere of the new Nethermined server. The event is scheduled to take place over Bank Holiday Weekend on Saturday 2nd May and Sunday 3rd May 3 at The Park Hotel in Tynemouth NE30 4JQ.

With plenty to see and do for the whole family, Nethermined is delighted to confirm GAME shall be supporting the event and hosting the XBox Zone throughout the 2 days with creative competitions for all ages.

Nethermined will also be supporting – as part of the event organisers’ commitment to charities – the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund, dedicated to changing the lives of children with disabilities.

A Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account have yielded unprecedented support for the concept behind Nethermined, ultimately leading to a list of Minecraft YouTubers beyond what organisers were remotely expecting – all dedicated to their fans and proving it by producing videos regularly to entertain them, spending hours on their servers playing games and routinely Tweeting with them.

Further, a “Mine-Crafty family” will be on hand to entertain the younger fans with their craft skills while assisting in other activities throughout the two days, while arts and crafts, YouTubers meet and greets, gift stands and more ensure the Nethermined event is a fun-filled day for all.

Day and weekend tickets are available now on Eventbrite via nethermined.com.

Train2Game News Free Developer Event in London

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Amazon will be hosting an event for indie developers in London next week, offering a mixture of free drinks and info on developing for Amazon platforms.

The ‘free happy hour’ will be held at Loading Bar, located in Dalston, London on the evening of Monday, January 12th.

Attending will be Amazon Developer Evangelist Jesse Freeman, who is looking to meet indie developers and share information on how they can get their games onto Kindle devices, Fire TV and Amazon App Store. He is also footing the bill for the drinks all night!

Devs are invited to show off demos of their game – although you’re also welcome to keep your secrets, if it’s just info you’re after. There will also be giveaways on the night.

All you need to be eligible is have a game or something in development that you’d be tempted to port over to the Amazon Fire platform.

The event kicks off at 7pm at the bar with details at http://loadingonline.co.uk/

Train2Game News GEEK 2015

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Multiplay, hosts of the UK’s biggest gaming festival Insomnia, is delighted to announce a new partnership with GEEK, a festival that is the place to Meet, Make and Play.

GEEK is a growing festival of play and games, held each year in the seaside town of Margate, Kent. A place for families and friends to come together to help create and play whilst having large amounts of fun, GEEK offers digital and analogue activities for both casual and dedicated gamers.

As a result of the partnership, Multiplay will be curating multiple parts of GEEK2015 which takes place from 20th – 22nd February next year.

GEEK has something for all the family. So whether you want to play and compete, relax, learn new skills or get an idea of how to get your dream job using games and technology, GEEK is the place to be.

“We have big plans for GEEK so it is really exciting to be working with Multiplay on GEEK2015. Multiplay has an unrivalled reputation, and their success on a national and international scale with global partners is a result of their outstanding passion for gaming and commitment to excellence,” said Kate Kneale, Director Marine Studios. “Together we can create a really innovative showcase for games, old and new, popular and obscure, innovative and just plain crazy.”

“The undertaking with GEEK is one we are ecstatic to be part of, showcasing the continually rising popularity of gaming events.  We are delighted to once again be working with GEEK for the second consecutive year, and this is just the start of an array of fantastic projects we will be involved with throughout 2015,” said Craig Fletcher, CEO & Founder of Multiplay.  “It’s been yet another fantastic year and we are delighted to now be actively involved with almost every single show in the gaming events calendar, with GEEK2015 at the forefront.”

More information on GEEK2015 will be revealed on the GEEK website www.geek-play.com

Train2Game News Insomnia 52

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Multiplay, organiser of the UK’s biggest gaming festival, is thrilled to announce the attendance of some of the most popular streamers, YouTube personalities, and online gaming broadcasters at its biggest ever Insomnia event.

After a successful debut at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena with last Easter’s Insomnia51, Multiplay is gearing up for an expanded summer gaming festival. Headline sponsors for Insomnia52 include Scan, HyerX and Iiayma.

This upcoming event introduces the Festival Arena, which will take place in the stadium, with a huge marquee taking over the pitch with an array of new features including the biggest stage yet. YouTube continues its dominance as the hottest form of video entertainment, with Insomnia52 featuring a brand new YouTuber Live Zone featuring Lets Plays, and a wide variety of interactive stage content from a roster of high profile personalities.

Insomnia52 will feature special guests such as Syndicate of TheSyndicateProject, who will also be launching his exclusive clothing brand in the UK for the very first time at the show. There will also be opportunities to meet Syndicate and your chance to win an exclusive one hour gaming lock-in session on the Razer Gamer Bus, where a handful of lucky winners will get to play alongside the YouTube star. Other currently confirmed special guests include Ali-A, SIVHD, Keyori, the Noxcrew, AshleyMarieeGaming and members from the Mindcrack Minecraft server, with more huge announcements to follow in the coming weeks.

As the biggest ever Insomnia Gaming Festival, this summer’s event will be solidifying the gaming festival feel with live music. Headlining the Main Festival stage on the Friday Night of the event will be Zane Lowe. The internationally renowned DJ and remix artist will be mixing up a DJ set of epic proportions. Other great live acts will feature across the weekend including sets from contestants of BBC’s The Voice, with the full line-up being announced shortly.

“When we first started Insomnia all those years ago we had these far-off dreams for where we’d like the event to one day be, and reality has finally caught up,” said Craig Fletcher, Founder & CEO of Multiplay. “This is our 52nd event, and we all feel incredibly proud to have helped Insomnia grow into the unique gaming festival experience it is today, in no small part thanks to our fantastic community. I’m already looking forward to watching Zane from the front row!”

Multiplay is set to grow the Insomnia Gaming Festival throughout 2014, delivering unrivalled gaming entertainment to tens of thousands of fans. Insomnia52 will deliver more competitive gaming tournaments, LAN-based gaming, new title showcases, panel talks, more interactive activities, and more exhibitors and sponsors than ever before this August bank holiday weekend.

For more information on Insomnia52 and to purchase tickets visit http://insomniagamingfestival.com. More announcements will be made in the coming weeks.