Train2Game news: Lionhead provide advice to artists on getting ahead in the industry

Fable IIITrain2Game Art & Animation students should definitely read the latest article in Develop Online’s ‘New Year, New Job’ feature, as Lionhead Head of Art Paul McLaughlin gives tips on how to be a great artist in a game development studio.

His advice for artists is as follows, and it could be especially useful to Train2Game students who are currently on Train2Game industry experience placements.

• Turn up for work and be nice to people.
• Make your boss’s life easier, not harder.
• Take a deep interest in whatever you’re working on. Do your damnedest to understand the art/game direction.
• Find out what you’re good at that is useful to the team and try to excel in that area.
• Keep your skills honed. No matter how senior you are, you still need to show ‘potential’.
• Work with the production team. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and if you’re struggling then flag it early.
• Don’t let your ego get in the way of doing what’s required.

It’s excellent advice for Train2Game Artists, who along with all other Train2Game students should keep an eye on Develop Online’s jobs feature for more excellent advice from industry professionals.

For more great advice from Lionhead, Train2Game students should check out this Train2Game Blog post in which Peter Molyneux offers guidance about getting into the games industry. He also reveals that many Lionhead staff started their careers as QA Testers.

What are your thoughts on the advice from Lionhead?

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

[Source: Develop Online]

Fable III gets first batch of DLC

Fable III

Microsoft has released the first piece of DLC for Fable III and it’s called the Understone Quest Pack.

The additional content gives Fable III players three new quests to complete based around the town of Understone, which perhaps unsurprisingly is underground. It’s below the streets of Bowerstone to be precise. Microsoft give the new addition to Fable III the following description:

“Designed by the peculiar mind of inventor Montague Hummes following the uncertain events that unfolded in “Fable II,” Understone brings new houses and stalls to own, creatures to conquer and a mystery to solve.”

Heres what Fable III players can expect from the three new Understone based quests:

“The Voice”: In the main quest, explore the mysterious underground land built by Montague Hummes in fear of the Spire in “Fable II”

  • Discover the origin of the voice that controls the people of Understone
  • Features a moral decision that will lead to two drastically different outcomes in Understone

“Shooting Range”: After defeating Saker during your quest to become King or Queen, the remaining Mercenaries have turned their camp into a tourist attraction. The main attraction being the re-playable shooting range mode

  • Beat the high scores to win three prizes that can be used while playing the mini-game: the Marksman 500 (gifted to players for downloading the pack), Money Shot (prize) and Black Dragon (prize)

“The Wheel of Misfortune”: After Reaver vacated his home, he set up a venture for budding heroes to replay the thrilling arena-based challenges within his new dwellings

  • Beat the high scores to win three new weapons that can be used while playing in the mini-game: The Full Monty (gifted to players upon downloading pack), Dirty Harriet (prize) and Dead Ned’s Revolver (prize)

The Understone Quest Pack for Fable III costs 400 Microsoft Points.

Other new bits and pieces of DLC for Fable III include the Exclusive Hair Pack, which allows you to give your character “corn rows, afro and asymmetrical bob styles” and costs 160 Microsoft Point. The 5 Star Dog Potion which ““gives your canine companion the full 5-star ability for digging, diving and tracking down hidden chests right from the start” and will set you back 80 Microsoft Points.

Also out today are a Reaver Industries Hero Outfit and a colourful Dye Pack for 160 and 80 Microsoft Points respectively.

Fable III topped the UK Chart in it’s first week of release at the end of October. In this weeks UKIE GfK Chart Track All Formats Top 40, the game lies in 24th spot.

You can check out the Fable III trailer here.

So Train2Game, have you finished Fable III? If so are you at all interested in the Understone Quest Pack? Would you part with your money to give your character a special hair style or some brightly coloured clothes?  Or have you already finished with the game for good?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

UK Chart: Football Manager 2011 takes top spot

Football Manager 2011

Football Manager 2011 is champion of the UK Charts, entering in top spot in its debut week.  Football Manager 2011 is only the second PC exclusive game to claim the top spot this year, with the other being Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty which reached number one in August. The success of Football Manager 2011 also provides SEGA with their second chart topper this year, with the other being Aliens vs. Predator.

You can see the Football Manager 2011 reveal announcement and read about some of the games new features here in the Train2Game blog.

Activision’s new James Bond games both failed to enter the top ten. The GoldenEye 007 remake for Nintendo Wii entered in 13th spot, while Blood Stone 007 only managed 18th place. However, with Call of Duty: Black Ops launching this week, it’s likely that Activision aren’t going to be too concerned about the Bond games not making the top ten.

Fable III was number one last week, but has dropped down to third spot in its second week on sale. Previous chart topper FIFA 11 proves that football games are extremely popular by holding on to second place, behind Football Manger 2011 in first.

Just Dance 2 is a non-mover in fourth spot, while Professor Layton and the Lost Future climbs three places to fifth. It’s the Nintendo DS title’s second highest position in the chart, since initially arriving in fourth place two weeks ago. New Super Mario Brothers Wii also moves up the charts, rising seven places to sixth thanks to the release of the 25th Anniversary Red Nintendo Wii Bundle.

Fallout: New Vegas looks like it may be running out of luck, having dropped from third to seventh, while Medal of Honor also moves down the charts falling two places from sixth to eighth.  Stores could end up full with second hand copies of Medal of Honor this week, as HMV are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops for £7.99 if EA’s game is traded in.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II drops from fifth to ninth in its second week on sale, while The Sims 3 rounds off the top ten. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 and PES 2011 both leave the top ten, falling to 11th and 14th respectively.

You can check out the Train2Game review of WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 here.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track Top Ten for the week ending November 6th is as follows:

1. Football Manager 2011 (SEGA)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. Fable III (Microsoft)
4. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
5. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)
6. New Super Mario Bros Wii (Nintendo)
7. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda)
8. Medal of Honor (EA)
9. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (LucasArts)
10. The Sims 3 (EA)

So Train2Game, have you played Football Manager 2011? If so is it deserving of its Number 1 spot? Call of Duty: Black Ops is released tomorrow, so that’s going to be Number 1 next week right? And do you think we’ll see many Kinect games in next weeks top ten?

You can leave your thoughts on Football Manager 11, or any other game in the UK Charts, here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Fable III crowned King of the charts

Fable III

Fable III has risen straight to the top of the UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 in its first week of release.  The Xbox 360 exclusive Fable III gives Microsoft its third Number 1 of the year, following on from the chart topping success of Halo: Reach and Crackdown 2. You can see the TV trailer for Fable III here.

FIFA 11 is still selling successfully, with the EA title gaining one position and moving up to second place in the chart. FIFA 11 had previously topped the charts after breaking the series previous sales records. FIFA 11’s move up the table means that last weeks Number One, Fallout: New Vegas, has slipped down to third place.

Just Dance 2 has gained one position and moved into fourth place, while Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II debuts in the chart in fifth place. Medal of Honor goes from second to sixth place, dropping to its lowest position since topping the chart just two weeks ago.

There’s another new entry in the top ten, with WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 debuting in a respectable seventh place. You can see the Train2Game review of Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 here on the Train2Game blog.

Nintendo DS exclusive Professor Layton and the Lost Future drops down four places from fourth to eighth while the console release of The Sims 3 sees the game technically re-enter the top ten in ninth place. Some high street discounting sees Pro Evo 2011 just about remain in the top ten in tenth position. It’s probably safe to say that FIFA 11 has one the annual battle of the football games this year. Dead Rising 2, previous chart topper F1 2010, Halo: Reach and Wii Party all slip out of the top ten this week.

Elsewhere in the chart, EA’s Rock Band 3 enters in a disappointing 26th place, while Activision’s DJ Hero 2 slips from 25th to 39th in only its second week on release. Meanwhile, Vanquish drops from 16th to 28th while Enslaved: Odyssey to the West drops to 34th.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending October 30th is as follows:
1. Fable III (Microsoft)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda)
4. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
5. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (LucasArts)
6. Medal of Honor (EA)
7. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 (THQ)
8. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)
9. The Sims 3 (EA)
10. PES 2011 (Konami)

New releases this week that will be looking to be in the top ten next Monday include GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo Wii, James Bond 007: Blood Stone and Football Manager 2011.

So Train2Game, have you played Fable III, if so do you think it’s deserving of its Number 1 spot? Do you think it’ll remain at the top next week, or will one of the new releases dethrone it? Have you played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II or WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011? If so, what do you think about them?

You can leave your thoughts about Fable III, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, or any other game in the charts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

UK Chart: Fallout: New Vegas goes top

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas has won big in its first week on release and topped the GFK Chart-Track All Formats Chart. It seems the gaming public haven’t been dissuaded by reports of Fallout: New Vegas being rather on the buggy side. In fact, Fallout: New Vegas has sold more in its first week than previous title Fallout 3 did, thus giving publisher Bethesda a new most successful debut week game.

The success of Fallout: New Vegas means that Medal of Honor is pushed down to second after claiming first place last week. FIFA 11 also drops down one to third place, after previously holding top spot before being kicked into touch by Medal of Honor last week.

There’s another new entry in the top ten, with Nintendo DS puzzler Professor Layton and the Lost Future selling strongly and taking fourth place, while Just Dance 2 drops from third to fifth spot.  Nintendo titles claim sixth and seventh spots, with Wii Party having dropped two places from fourth, while Wii Sports Resort jumps seven places up the chart and re-enters the top ten.

Former pole sitter F1 2010 continues to stay in the points paying positions, despite dropping two places to eighth. Ninth and tenth spots are occupied by Pro Evolution Soccer and Dead Rising 2 which dropped from fifth and seventh respectively.  Halo: Reach drops out of the top ten into 11th spot.

In disappointing news for SEGA, their shooter Vanquish failed to break the top ten, entering the UK software chart in 12th place. However, Vanquish fared better than EA Sports MMA and DJ Hero 2 which both failed to make the top twenty in their first weeks. EA Sports MMA entered the chart in 23rd while DJ Hero 2 took 25th position.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending October 23rd is as follows:

1. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda)
2. Medal of Honor (EA)
3. FIFA 11 (EA)
4. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)
5. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
6. Wii Party (Nintendo)
7. Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo)
8. F1 2010 (Codemasters)
9. PES 2011 (Konami)
10. Dead Rising 2 (Capcom)

So Train2Game, have you bought any of this weeks new entries? If so, what are your thoughts on Fallout: New Vegas, Professor Layton and the Lost Future, EA Sports MMA or DJ Hero 2?

Will Fallout: New Vegas hold onto top spot next week? Or could Fable III, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II or WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 knock Fallout: New Vegas down?

Expect a full review of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 here on the Train2Game blog this Wednesday!

As usual, leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Fable III TV Trailer

Fable III logo

Microsoft has released a Fable III launch trailer – which is also the US TV ad – ahead of the games launch at the end of the month. The Fable III TV trailer shows its world of Albion in the midst of a revolution as your hero attempts to overthrow the corrupt King Logan.

The one minute long Fable III video features the hero taking the lead in the revolution, while fighting breaks out in the streets, important looking people are kidnapped and statue representing the old regime of King Logan falls to the ground. All in all, the Fable III trailer looks like it could be for a TV series rather than a game!

You can check out the Fable III TV trailer, with its Young Dead Men by Black Angels backing track, below.

You can see plenty more about Fable III, including a preview and lots of screenshots, over on Gabe’s Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

The Xbox 360 version of Fable III is currently available for pre-order in both standard and collector’s editions.  The Collector’s edition of Fable III includes:

  • A new quest: Uncover the mystery of the haunted forests of Silverpines and earn the legendary sword, Wolfsbane, deadly against wolves and balverines.
  • Exclusive location: Unlock a new region, ideal for settling down with a family and discovering new treasures.
  • Fable III playing cards: Created by Lionhead, these cards depict every type of character in “Fable III,” including Heroes, royals, rebels and villains from across Albion and beyond.
  • Guild Seal Coin: The coin features a Good side (blue) and Evil side (red) to assist players in making critical decisions that will impact the fate of the world forever.
  • A new dog breed: Renowned for its loyalty, the Boxer is a brave canine companion worthy of greatest Queens and Kings.
  • One unique outfit: Unearth one male and female outfit from the mysterious, faraway land of Aurora, a new destination in your “Fable III” adventures.

Fable III is set for release on the Xbox 360 on October 29th. A PC version of Fable III is also planned, but a release date is hasn’t yet been nailed down.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Fable III TV trailer? Does it make the game look exciting? Or do you think it should show some gameplay footage?

You can leave your thoughts on Fable III, here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Microsoft E3 Press Conference – The key announcements

Last night saw Microsoft present the first major presentation of E3, and boy did they deliver.  The press conference kicked off with Senior Vice President Don Mattrick saying that 2010 will be “a year of transformation” and will ‘transform the way you play games and connect to friends and family.’

Of course, Microsoft’s biggest claim to transforming the way we play – and perhaps design and develop games – comes with the introduction of the Kinect, the motion controller for the Xbox 360.

Kinect – the device formerly know as Project Natal – will be released in the United States on Thursday, November 4th with 15 exclusive title’s including the Rare developed Kinetic Sports. No European date has been announced yet, but it’s likely it’ll be some way behind the USA if it follows the pattern of the new Xbox 360 Slim. While the new console is ships in the United States today, it won’t be available this side of the Atlantic Ocean until July 16th.

Train2Game Game Designers, Game Developers and Game Artist & Animators will no doubt be encouraged by Microsoft’s Phil Spencer stating “Microsoft Games Studios is constantly looking to partner with talented new development partners.” Perhaps if you play your cards right, you could be developing games exclusively for the Xbox 360 in the years to come.

In addition to announcements about Kinect and the Xbox 360 Slim, a number of highly anticipated games were given release dates.  Peter Molyneux himself took to the stage in Los Angeles to reveal that Fable III will be available on October 26th this year. Meanwhile, Dead Space 2 executive producer Steve Papoutsis revealed that the horror sequel will be released on January 25th 2011.

These are just some of the many announcements made last night, and E3 isn’t even in full swing yet with Nintendo and Sony still to give presentations today at 5 p.m. and respectively – that’s the British times anyway!

So it’s over to you. Are you impressed by Microsoft’s announcements? If so, what are you most looking forward to? Kinect The Xbox 360 Slim? As usual, let us know either in the comments section below, or on the Train2Game Forum.