Train2Game News Game Art book


Video games capture the imagination like no other art form, but when the game ends, what’s the best way to keep those experiences alive? Just open a stunning art book.

In Game Art ($39.95, 272 pp., September 2015), the latest art book from No Starch Press, readers can relive their favorite adventures and discover new ones through breathtaking art from 40 video games by indie and blockbuster studios. With every turn of the page, readers will find themselves immersed in scenes like:

·         A brave little girl’s journey through frigid Alaskan icescapes in Never Alone
·         An epic battle against a monstrous dragon in Dragon Age: Inquisition
·         A noir-inspired universe where characters literally become shadows in Contrast
·         Chocobos galloping through majestic valleys in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Author Matt Sainsbury traveled the globe to snag exclusive interviews with the creators of these games. Matt says, “We’re living in a true Golden Age of video games at the moment—there’s never been more experimentation and beauty in games than there is today. My goal with Game Art was to showcase these incredible works of art and what inspires developers to create these masterpieces.”

“Game Art is sure to live on coffee tables of video game lovers for years to come,” says No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock. “You have to check this out. Anyone who reads this book won’t be asking, ‘Are video games art?’ It’s obvious.”

Game Art will be available in bookstores everywhere this September.

Train2Game News: “Mostly everything successful is a sequel nowadays.” says Dishonored director

Dishonored looks like it might be on its way to becoming a success when it’s released later this year, but Zenimax visual design director Viktor Antonov believes that it’s now extremely rare for this to happen for a new IP.

He made the remarks while presenting ‘Creating Dunwall’ a session on visual development for Dishonored at Develop Conference 2012.

“Rarely in life in as a developer do you get to start a brand new IP. Mostly everything successful is a sequel nowadays.” said Antonov, who gave the audience a huge insight into the three year pre-production for Dishonored.

Arkane Studios built the visual style of Dunwall by beginning with the Great Plague of 1665, deciding to base the city on London, due to it being both familiar and exotic to those in the United States and in continental Europe. Edinburgh has also influenced design of Dunwall, with the studio taking trips to both cities.

“It’s important to go to the location you want to develop” added Antonov, who was director and concept artist for Half-Life 2.

There’s much more about Dishonored in developer videos with commentary, which you can watch right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news from Develop Conference.

What are your thoughts on Antonov’s comments about success? Is it really only sequels that are big successes now? Or is there still room for new IP?

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

Train2Game News: My Sea Park, a new mobile game with heavy Train2Game student input released worldwide

My Sea Park is a brand new mobile game that’s received heavy input from Train2Game students on work placement at DR Studios and its available worldwide for iPhone and Ipad now.

Seven students worked on the iOS game, with Train2Game game designer Craig Moore serving as design lead.

My Sea Park lets players explore their creativity by building the biggest and best marine-themed amusement park in the world. The following Train2Game students also aided in development of My Sea Park, using skills learned on the developer, designer and art and animation courses.

Ben Collings – Art
Ezekiel Morris – Art
Jonny Robinson – Design
Matty Wyett-Simmonds – Art
Rudi Will – Design
Tim Woods – Programming

With more than 50 different attractions available, My Sea Park allows players to maintain and fill their parks with wonderful sea animals, rides, restaurants and other special items to entertain their guests.

In addition, My Sea Park allows players to completely customize their sea attractions with an abundance of decorations, cute animals and shows.

Watch the trailer below, here on The Train2Game Blog.

Like it? Then support fellow Train2Game students by downloading My Sea Park from the App Store now!

There’s more on My Sea Park here on The Train2Game Blog, while keep reading for the latest industry experience diaries from Train2Game students on placement at DR Studios.

As usual, leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News: Frozen Synapse dev blogs about ‘How to Be an Indie Game Developer’

Frozen Synapse by Mode 7 Games is published through Steam

‘How do I become an indie game developer?’ is a question that’s often asked to industry professionals, so Mode 7’s Paul Taylor has attempted to answer that very query in a in a lengthy, but very interesting blog post.

Mode 7 Games is the Oxford indie game development studio behind PC tactical strategy title Frozen Synapse.

The ‘How to be an indie game developer’ blog post should make fascinating reading for any Train2Game student, as it discusses almost all areas of development and marketing. Subjects covered by Taylor include game design, concept, code, art and animation, music and audio, writing, business and marketing, free-to-play vs. pay once and even using videos.  Be sure to give it a read.

Taylor has previously written about what he thinks made Frozen Synapse a success, and there’s more about the indie title here on The Train2Game Blog.

Be sure to keep reading for advice from games industry professionals on how you can break into development.

What are your thoughts on the blog post from Mode 7? Do you have aspirations to be an indie developer and if so, what steps have you made towards it?

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

Train2Game news: The making of a Team Fortress 2 hat

Train2Game Art & Animation students should find this interesting; a post on the Team Fortress 2 blog reveals the step by step process of building a hat.

For those unfamiliar with Team Fortress 2, players can customise their characters with hats and other accessories. And as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, many community created hats have made it into Team Fortress 2, with the creators earning money from the sales!

But anyway, The Making of a Skull Hat details the creation process from just a concept, to modelling, to adding a polygon mesh and texturing. It makes an interesting read for Train2Game Art & Animation students.

Valve are extremely open to community contributions in Team Fortress 2, and have keenly supported modders over the years, with many joining the development studio.

Indeed, speaking to the Train2Game blog last month, Valve’s Chet Faliszek told us that modding is a really good way to get into the games industry.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” he said.

“Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.”

So Train2Game, what do you think about the process behind making a Team Fortress 2 hat? Would you consider making a submission?

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

[Source: Team Fortress 2 blog]

Train2Game news: ‘Digital revolution’ encourages creativity say Ninja Theory


Train2Game students will be aware that when compared to the traditional retail model, digital distribution provides game developers with a better opportunity to get their titles out there.

Not only does the digital business model knock down the wall of needing a publisher, it also arguably allows developers to take more risks when developing the games. Both of these could potentially be advantageous to Train2Game students.

Indeed, as reported by the Train2Game blog, indie developer Mode 7 Games believes the Steam digital distribution service is ‘essential’ for indie developers.

And in a recent interview, Ninja Theory  Creative chief, Tameem Antoniades also praised digital distribution model, stating it’s good for creativity in the games industry.

“There’s always an opportunity between projects to explore things, a lot of team members are hobbyists, they create their own iPhone games and things like that so I can see us kind of taking a punt with that. It can’t come soon enough” Antoniades told

For more on iPhone development, see the recent Train2Game interview with indie studio Hogrocket. They recently released their first game for the platform, Tiny Wings.

The Ninja Theory Chief Designer suggested that the traditional retail model is on the way out, and that it’s a positive thing for game developers.

“The whole digital revolution is happening now and it can’t come soon enough. The model we’re under, the big retail model, is creaking” he said,  before arguing that need for games to be successful at retail in its current is stifling creativity because consumers don’t want to spend large amounts of money on an unknown entity.

“It’s such an opportunity for fun creative games to reach a target audience, there’s this stranglehold that the AAA retail model has which I think is just crushing innovation and access to creative content.”

“If you’re paying that much for a game, you don’t want to take chances. You want everything to be there, all the feature sets. You want it to be a known experience, guaranteed fun. That’s not healthy.”

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Ninja Theory’s original IP Enslaved: Odyssey to the West failed to be particularly successful at retail, with publisher Namco Bandai suggesting poor release timing was to blame.

Even if Enslaved wasn’t very successful, Train2Game students would do well to read about the Enslaved Developer Session with Ninja Theory’s Tameem Antoniades at last years’ Eurogamer Expo. Expect more insight into how game developers operate as Train2Game will be reporting from the 2011 expo later this month

What are your thoughts on the comments from Antonides? Do you agree that digital distribution encourages creativity? Would an all digital model be good for the industry?

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


Train2Game students should take the opportunity to game jam, here’s why…

Train2Game recently announced that a second 48 hour Game Jam  will take place in early November, with full details  about it available to Train2Game students on the Train2Game forum.

Game Jams are an excellent way for any game developer to test their skills, and in an interesting #altdevblogpostaday article, PixoFactor’s Adam Rademacher explains why Game Jams are “best practice” for game developers.

He argues that Game Jams are a great place to improve your abilities thanks to the focused nature of the 48 hour development period.

“The entire weekend you’re thinking about game development” wrote Rademacher.  “Thinking about how to program new features, or how to speed up your art production.  Even if you don’t finish the game on time, it’s not hard to see how it can improve your skills”

“Even if you only learn to write one new function, or one new shader, you’ve improved upon your skillset, and now you have a (hopefully) cool prototype to continue building on.”

Rademacher adds that Game Jams are an excellent opportunity to develop prototypes of games, a practice that’s common in the industry. Indeed, an interview with the Train2Game blog earlier this year, Mediatonic Director Paul Croft revealed that they’re a good way of coming up with new games.

It’s also suggested that Game Jams are a great way of practicing creativity, and in an environment where if the idea doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter.

“It’s easy to set out on a project with all intention to create something innovative and new, then be completely distraught when it’s no fun, or unreasonable to try to finish, or just not as innovative as you thought it would be.  But that’s cool.  Because you’ve only spent a weekend on it.”

The #altdevblogaday piece is a great way for game developers to try out new technology, and learn cool new stuff. This is exactly what Train2Game students will have the opportunity to do at the second official Train2Game Game Jam, in which the Unreal Development Kit will be used to make games! It’s an engine that many Train2Game students won’t have used before.

The importance of Game Jams piece is available in full to read on #altdevblogaday. While full details about the Train2Game Game Jam are on the Train2Game forum.

What are your thoughts on the benefit of Game Jams?

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

[Source: Altdevblogaday

Train2Game at Gamescom: Metro Last Light interview

Train2Game  attended Gamescom from 17th August to 21st August.  During our time in Cologne we were fortunate enough to speak to Metro Last Light Producer John Block.

He discussed improvements over Metro 2033, keeping the game faithful to the books and the game design process. He also reveals how he got into the game industry and offers advice to Train2Game students as to how they can too.

Read the interview below, or listen to it via Train2Game Radio. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game industry experience diaries from Darren Price & William Alexander

Train2Game Game Developer Darren Price and Train2Game Artist & Animator William Alexander are on Train2Game industry experience placements at DR Studios.

In their latest industry experience diaries, Darren discusses the Alpha build of their game, while William writes about creating an art style.

Read the industry experience diaries below here on the Train2Game blog, or on the official Train2Game industry experience diaries website.

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog

Train2Game news: “Graphics will always matter” say Id Software

Train2Game students will have seen some huge improvements in video game Art & Animation over the last decade, with the majority of Triple A games released now featuring excellent graphics.

Id software, developers of the upcoming RAGE – which as reported by the Train2Game blog will come with modding tools – believe that despite the improvements in graphics, games with better graphics than their rivals will always have an edge.

“Coming from id – and this is Carmack’s quote – graphics will always matter. And I agree with that 100 percent.”  Id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead told VG247.

“I think that there’s a point where you get diminishing returns, obviously. You approach reality until the point that you get there. And then, once you get there – which, we never will – but the curve gets so close that the differences are imperceptible to most consumers.”

And Hollenshead believes the graphics and Art & Animation war is far from over, with more improvements to come in future.

“I don’t think we’re anywhere near there yet. We’re still making graphical trade-offs and working within system constraints. If you gave us twice the horsepower, I guarantee we’d soak up every single bit of it.

“So I don’t think we’re actually getting close to that yet. If every game you could buy was running with every single feature you could have turned on at 120 hertz, then I might say, “It’s pretty much all the same.” But it’s not. I mean, in RAGE, we decided to run it at 60 hertz and put all our elbow grease behind that when most of our competition is running at 30 hertz. And I think it’s a difference-maker.”

As reported by the Train2Game blog, ID Software said their fans ‘sometimes drive them nuts’ with their demands. With their ideas about graphics and Art & Animation in future, how the game looks shouldn’t be a complaint

So Train2Game, will graphics always give games an edge? Or can Game Design and gameplay triumph over Art & Animation?

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

[Source: VG247]