Train2Game News The first ever Game Marmalade spread thick with talent

Game Marmalade

Game Marmalade a complete success in its initial year

Game Jam organised by Train2Game students had a spread of talented entries and some great games are coming out of the event.

This year saw the launch of Game Marmalade, the student organised Game Jam for Train2Game students. It was well attended and the games produced impressed event organisers. The next step in the process will be the judging.

The event was a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills. Organisers can’t wait to see the games finished that had such huge potential. There were four teams in total with three games produced for judging. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.

Some unfortunate drop outs meant team members had to adapt to new roles. Three out of four games were completed but the unfinished team are still working to finish its project. The attendees of the Jam are continuing to work on their titles or beginning new projects together.

The event was created and managed by Train2Game forum member Slinks. She was extremely happy with how the event went, especially with the games the students produced and the networking opportunities created.

The next step is the judging process, and then announcement of the winner. There’s potential for another Game Jam in the future but that’s not confirmed at this time.

Train2Game student and Game Marmalade organiser, Slinks: ‘Game Marmalade was an excellent success and from all the positive feedback I’ve had, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt a great deal. It’s been very rewarding organising Game Marmalade and I’ve learned so much about putting an event like this together. Everyone who took part should be really proud of themselves and what they achieved and I’m sure we will see some awesome games being developed in the future.’

‘Before the event I asked my fellow students to send me their suggestions for a theme and received lots of great entries. The suggestions were put into a hat and I picked one out at the start of the event. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.’

‘There are so many awesome things which have come together as a result of Game Marmalade. Two studios have been formed so far who are either continuing to work on the games they entered, or work on future projects.’

‘More students are now in contact with each other, which was the ultimate aim of the event for me. My Teamspeak channel has grown which means we have a greater student to student support network. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know our Tutors, who are all awesome and gave up so much of their own time for the event. But I think the best thing was that everyone really enjoyed it, everyone who took part worked well together and everyone learned so much about game creation.’

‘Most of the teams are continuing to develop their games and are also working on future projects, so the positive energy generated by the event has certainly been good for getting things started and I’m very interested to see where everyone takes things from here.’

‘We had one team drop out and one developer who was unable to make it, but 3 out of the 4 teams managed to enter executable games. The team without a developer still worked really hard on producing all the assets needed for a full game and the artists did a really superb job.’

‘The designer of the team put in a colossal effort trying to learn how to program a game engine, with little previous knowledge and it’s a real shame he didn’t quite make it. However the team are determined to see this project through to the end and hope to put the game together over the next few months.’

‘The next event in the Game Marmalade calendar is the Judging. This will take place on Sunday 12th June in Teamspeak and there will be 5 judges giving us their marks and thoughts on each game. It should be a good evening with much discussion and we’ll find out which teams game has won.’

‘If I did it again, there are a few things I’d do differently to improve the event, but they are small changes which wouldn’t affect how the event ran, as it was pretty much a complete success. As to doing it again, I’m really not sure, my priority right now is working on my portfolio and passing the City and Guilds exam.’

‘There is still plenty of time to play the games and vote for your favourite on the website!entries/zboej The Loonys are currently in the lead but it’s neck and neck with the Psyber Sprites. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Straw Poll and it’s been neck and neck between these 2 from the start, exciting stuff.’

For more information contact:

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Train2Game News Student artwork gallery

Dan CableDan Cable is coming to the end of his course with Train2Game and we have every confidence he’ll go on to do some incredible things in the gaming world.

We’ve highlighted some of our favourite pieces of his work, but if you’d like to see more art and 3D Gifs then visit his work thread on the forum.

In a post Dan wrote on the Train2Game forum and said of the course: “I gotta say, I’m partly sad it’s over (or nearly) but it’s been a long road to get here. I’m a little disappointed I took so long (3 Years) as I think I committed too much time to things like BF3/4 and iRacing rather than get my head down with this. For the money spent I think I’ve got a great value education and a great understanding of the core principles involved in game art.”

We’ve approached Dan for an interview and he’ll be getting back to us as soon as he finishes his course work!

You can view some of Dans artwork in the gallery below

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Train2Game News Student offering her artistic skills

LUC52101Train2Game Student and three time game jam winner, Chloe Martin is offering her artistic skills and knowledge to those in need.

Chloe is on the art and animation course and was previously a member of Digital Mage, along with my self, who were featured at The Gadget Show Live in 2012 as part of the Make Something Unreal Live contest sponsored by Epic Games.

After her continued success through previous game jams Train2Game invited her to be a mentor at the last game jam in April which she did an excellent job as. Using her knowledge and talents to help new students.

She is now looking to update and improve her portfolio by offering to help other Train2Game students with their coursework or any projects they may be working on. Chloe is a highly talented artist and will be a huge asset to your work.

Chloe is primarily a 2D artist but also can do 3D work if need be, dependant on what you are looking for in your project or coursework. This will be something she will be doing in her own spare time as she does have a full time job and is continuing to study on her own course.

You can find samples of her work on the forum by following this link:

This is just a very small fraction of the work she can do and she will provide more examples on request.

If you are interested and want to contact Chloe you can email her at

Train2Game News Premade character animations for UE4

Mixamo CharacterMixamo has made a number of its character animations available free for Unreal Engine 4 subscribers on the UE4 marketplace.

The firm has released 15 ready-to-use characters and seven animations to the store. Available animations include walk, run, shoot, sword, idle, jump and run jump.

“We’re extremely excited to have our animations included in Epic Games’ growing Marketplace,” said Mixamo CEO Stefano Corazza.

“The Unreal Engine exists to speed the process of game development, and we share a similar philosophy for 3D character creation and animation. Now, with built-in access to ready-made animations, UE4 developers can get their characters moving in minutes, rather than spending hours keyframing animations from scratch.”

Source: Develop

Train2Game News Visual Effects and Animation Festival

BFXVisual Effects and Animation Festival returns to Bournemouth UK for 2014
The BFX Festival returns to Bournemouth this summer to celebrate British talent and creativity in animation, computer games and visual effects and inspire the next generation of people to enter the booming industries.

Last year’s BFX Festival was a fantastic celebration of visual effects, animation and games and this year’s event is aiming to build that success, with experts and enthusiasts from across the UK and beyond presenting an amazing selection of material and leading a range of Festival activities that will appeal to all.

Tickets are now on sale for the Festival, which will take place across four days from 24-28 September 2014, hosted at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Talks featuring movie titles such as The Lego Movie, Gravity, Maleficent, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Edge of Tomorrow will be on offer, giving delegates an insight into the range and quality of visual effects needed to create such blockbusters. Legendary computer games, such as the new instalment of Elite from Frontier Developments, called Elite: Dangerous will also be presented.

As well as talks from industry experts on some of this year’s best VFX and animation there will also be a large concept art exhibition direct from the vaults of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures; featuring concept artwork from the movies Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent.

A series of workshops will be available for those wishing to explore animation and VFX techniques further and a number of family activities are also on offer, including children’s animation workshops and public cinema screenings. Talks and workshops have been created with all levels of expertise and knowledge in mind, and the Festival is open for all members of the public to attend.

The Festival is being organised by the International VFX Hub; a collaboration between the award-winning National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at Bournemouth University and the Faculty of Media and Performance at the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB).

Sofronis Efstathiou, Senior Lecturer at Sofronis Efstathiou and the BFX Festival Director said, “We are delighted to be hosting the second BFX Festival this year and to celebrate the best VFX and animation in the world. There is truly something for everyone; from industry experts to hobbyists, animators to technical directors. Come and learn more about this amazing industry and the hard work that goes into creating some of your favourite movies and computer games.”

Companies such as Animal Logic, Framestore, Double Negative, The Mill and MPC will be speaking at the Festival, along with Festival partners The Foundry, Chaos Group, Next Limit and AMD.

At the heart of the Festival is the BFX competition – where students from around the country will be competing to create the best animation and visual effect from a selection of briefs and screenplays given to them. The competition, which is held on Bournemouth University’s and Arts University Bournemouth campus, replicates a film studio with participants working in groups of up to six to create a short visual effects or animation sequence. Teams are mentored throughout by industry practitioners, with a panel of industry judges picking the winning team and awarding prizes.

The competition is currently underway, with teams from 10 higher education institutions taking part, competing for a variety of award and prizes across a number of categories, with winners due to be announced during the Festival itself.

Tickets for the BFX Festival can be purchased on Eventbrite with Early Bird discounts available.

More information about the BFX Festival (including ticketing), and the BFX Competition, can be found at

Train2Game News Artist required for Student Studio

Train2GameTrain2Game Student Liam Young is on the developer course and is just getting his own studio off the ground but requires an artist.

Liam is covering all the design and development side of the company himself but requires a talented artist to turn some concept art into in game assets and he is prepared to pay the right person for the work they do.

The right person would not be taken on as an employee of the company but would receive full credit for the work that is done for the game further helping the portfolio and CV of the decided on artist.

It is important you be a dedicated worker and reach a mutually agreed upon deadline at a satisfactory level of quality.

If you are interested in helping Liam with his work you can get in touch with him by emailing

You can view the Facebook page at

and the twitter page at

Train2Game News Organic Motion improves MoCap Market

Organic MotionOrganic Motion has taken another giant step forward in the motion capture market with their release of OpenStage 2.4.

In addition to multiple usability features added to the product, OpenStage 2.4 boasts a real-time frame capture rate of 120fps; double its previous mark of 60fps. The increase in frame rate means a substantial increase in tracking quality for users of OpenStage 2.4. Quicker character actions, such as kicking, punching or swinging a golf club now track better than ever. Brent George, professional animator and beta tester of OpenStage 2.4, has already recognized a noticeable improvement.

“At 60fps, OpenStage drastically improved the efficiency of my motion capture pipeline. The increase in frame rate opens up even more possibilities to further leverage OpenStage to save money and improve overall animation quality.”

In addition to animation, the upgrade also substantially impacts the system’s versatility within life sciences.  Dynamic Athletics, an Organic Motion partner and the leader in the application of 3D motion capture in human performance and musculoskeletal health, is excited at the possibilities that exist with OpenStage 2.4.
“The advancements that Organic Motion has made with version 2.4 allows the applications of motion capture to expand into new arenas.” explained Patrick Moodie, Chief of Science and Co-Founder of Dynamic Athletics. “At DARI, collections start with simple movements and progress to the more complex. From golf swings to pitching motions, the possibilities with OpenStage 2.4 are now endless.”

In an effort to allow everyone to witness the new features of OpenStage 2.4 live, Organic Motion will be hosting an online live demonstration from their headquarters in Manhattan on July 15th at 2pm ET. Those interested may register via the following link – Organic Motion Live Online Demo Registration.

Train2Game News Fission Mailed

Fission MailedREZtron Ltd., are thrilled to announce that it will be part of FISSION MAILED – The Art of Videogaming, Act 1 exhibition at The White Building in London’s creative district of Hackney.

In the last 12 months REZtron’s ‘retrotainment’ has been going from strength to strength catering for the Hospitality industry, Festivals, Corporate functions and Product launches. This will be its first entry in collaborating with the Art world.

FISSION MAILED is a one day interactive gaming art exhibition at The White Building exploring the evolution and creativity of video games and its parallel adoption as an artistic medium.

The pop-up exhibition showcases the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the most iconic (and underrated) games ever produced such as Asteroids, Panzer Dragoon, Ikaruga, Rez, Shenmue and Cosmic Smash to name but a few. Alongside these there will also be classic multi-player games open to the public to try out such as Micro Machines, Bomberman, Sonic 2 and Street Fighter II. These will be displayed on projectors and iconic CRT TVs.

Juxtaposed with these iconic and popular games, a parallel history of gaming will unfold through the practices of artists and indie game developers who provide a more pluralistic and subversive approach to exposing the darker underbelly of the gaming industry both past, present and future. Work by some of the most progressive and responsive game developers will be showcased, including work by Anna Anthropy, Merritt Kopas, Ben Eposito and Sophie Houlden.

The first part of the FREE exhibition will take place on Sunday 29th June, 4pm til 10.30pm.Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite.

Train2Game News Autodesk drops price of Maya LT 2015

Maya LT 2015The 2015 edition of Maya LT has seen its price slashed by $20, making it more affordable to indie devs.

The animation and modelling software from Autodesk is now available for $30 per month, down from $50 – which, the company points out, is less than a dollar per day. Unless you’re in February, of course. In the UK, it now costs £25 per month.

Maya LT was first launched as an entry-level version of Maya, designed so that indie developers and smaller studios could afford one of Autodesk’s leading tools. The tools provider recently released Maya LT on Steam as well, allowing hobbyists to create their own content for titles like League of Legends.

This is the latest in a series of moves to make Autodesk’s products more accessible to indies.

Train2Game News GameCarver dev tool

GameCarverIrish software startup Zoodazzle unveiled GameCarver, a new 2D and 3D cross-platform, visually driven game development software.

Created for individual game developers, as well as collaborative game making teams, GameCarver is touted to help make game creation easier, faster and more fun. This is made possible by drawing a clear line between the roles of visual creatives and game programmers, empowering each to focus on their specialist areas, and collaborate without having to learn the others skills.

“Games creators, particularly artists, know that ‘easy to use’ games engines are seldom that easy to use (unless you’re an experienced programmer), “said Ciaran Davies, CEO, Zoodazzle, and experienced game developer. “ If you’re a games artist and you find yourself studying ‘C++ for Dummies’, you know what I’m talking about.

The fact is that many talented games artists simply don’t have time to become good programmers, and the creative side of their work suffers as they struggle with code, and have to constantly switch between creative and technical roles. Even those working with engineers, often need to explore complex code in order to get game play mechanics ‘just right’. It’s not fun, and at Zoodazzle, we believe making games should be as much fun as playing them.

This set-up is not ideal for engineers either, who know how frustrating it is to spend countless hours writing tools to support artists. Or worse, having to wear the ‘artist hat’, and try to create the visual impact artist want. The blending of both roles drains energy from the development process, and often the game suffers for it.

When I started to play around with the idea of GameCarver, almost 5 years ago, it was because I wanted to build a game tool that let both artist and engineers do what they do best, without having to learn the others discipline; allowing game developers to get to the fun fast.”

GameCarver ships with a toolset called Gadgets. Gadgets are like game building blocks, each with its own properties, and set of parameters that are available through a graphical user interface. Artists can ‘tweak’ the object’s properties in the interface by simply changing values. C++ knowledge not required.

Gadgets can be combined to create more complex functionality in the form of Inventions. Coders can create generic Inventions, and the artist can ‘skin’ them by importing resources such as sprites sheets, meshes and materials, audio and sequences of animation.

So that’s good news for engineers too. They won’t have to write tools to support artists, instead they can dedicate their time to creating Inventions with exposed parameters and leave the fine-tuning of game mechanics to the artist/designer.
GameCarver installs with several 2D and 3D game templates, so both artists and coders can quickly familiarise themselves with the software, and start making games immediately. A number of game demos and tutorials are also available from their website, as well as forums to further support game developers.

“We’d encourage people to get in touch via the forums on We’ve received really useful feedback via email during the beta-release in 2013, and that feedback helped shape this release and previous versions of GameCarver. We’d like to make that an open conversation in the forums now. We want suggestions, feedback, questions, anything that will help us provide support and a platform for developers to share advice and encourage each other.”

With the growing trend in mobile gaming, the timing couldn’t be better for GameCarver. It’s cross-platform publishing capabilities makes it easy for developers to build for popular smartphone and tablet devices; and it’s growing library of Inventions and pre-coded game templates promise to make that process increasingly simple.