Train2Game Art & Animation student David Sims speaks to Train2Game Radio

David Sims is studying to become a Game Artist & Animator with Train2Game.  Train2Game Radio caught up with him to find out why he chose to study with Train2Game, how he’s finding the course and what he wants to achieve in a career in the games industry. Listen to the interview at www.audioboo.fm/train2game Discuss it here on the Train2Game forum.

Rift ‘Create a Colossus’ contest offers Train2Game Artists opportunities to win prizes

Here’s one for the Train2Game Art & Animation students; you have the opportunity to design a new enemy for fantasy MMO Rift in the form of a colossus boss.

As described on the Deviant Art contest page, “Bosses are the biggest, baddest, and strongest enemies in any video game. They control hordes of monsters, rule the land, and they usually take a lot of skill to defeat. We’re challenging you to create a new colossus (a boss) for the new massively multiplayer online role-playing game, RIFT.”

It offers a great opportunity for Train2Game Art & Animation students to test their skills and Deviant Art are offering prizes for the winners. The contest rules are as follows:

Your colossus:

  • Must be based on only one of the six planar themes
  • Must be very large within the scale of the game environment
  • Must be original to you and all elements must originate from you. You cannot copy graphic material from the game.
  • Can be made in any medium as long as you submit it as a JPG or a PNG
  • Can be made using licensed brushes and textures, but you may not use third-party stock in your entry.

For more information about Rift and the contest in general, see the Create a Colossus website.  The deadline for entries is 19th June.

The contest is in no way affiliated with Train2Game, but it could provide Train2Game Art & Animation students with a nice challenge.

So Train2Game, will you enter the contest?

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

[Source: Deviant Art via Train2Game forum user DJSp00k]

L.A. Noire tech can ‘compete with film’ and be used outside games industry!

L.A. Noire developers Team Bondi believe their impressive facial Art & Animation techniques (Which if you haven’t seen, you can here on the Train2Game blog) can aid Game Designers in competing with Hollywood.

“The beauty of it for games specifically is it will now allow us to compete head-on with film and TV in terms of storytelling.” Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara told BBC Newsbeat.

“If you take all the strengths of what’s great about a video game and you take all the strengths of what’s great about cinema and film you can get this amazing new product and what that means is video games become the pre-eminent entertainment form for the 21st century,” he said.

McNamara’s comments are similar those he’s previously made – as reported by the Train2Game blog – in that it’ll soon be hard to differentiate between games, films, and TV.

The L.A. Noire Director added that the MotionScan technology has even attracted interest from the industries outside of entertainment and gaming.

“We’ve had all sorts of approaches from different people wanting to use it for medicine and for security and people like law enforcement wanting it for lying simulators to show operatives how to read faces”

Back inside the industry, Valve are also ‘keeping an eye on’ the impressive Art & Animation technology.

As reported by the Train2Game blog, L.A. Noire became the fastest ever selling original IP in the UK, taking No.1 in the charts in the process.

So Train2Game, can games compete with TV when it comes to storytelling? Do any of you Game Designers have big plans? And is it positive for the industry that in-game tech is interesting those outside it?

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

[Souce: BBC Newsbeat via Develop Online]

UK Charts: Brink takes No.1 as British developers reign supreme

Brink Train2Game blog image

In news which could be positive for Train2Game students, UK developed Brink is the new No.1 of the UKIE/GFK Chart-Track All Formats chart, which this week features a strong showing from British game developers.

Why positive? Because successful multiplatform titles developed here in the UK – Splash Damage are based in Bromley – could potentially lead to more opportunities for Train2Game students to find work.

The PlayStation Network downtime has arguably influenced the choice of format, with almost 70% of Brink sales for the Xbox 360. (As reported by Train2Game news, the PlayStation Network is slowly coming back online.)

For a more in depth look at the development of Brink, see extracts of an interview posted on the Train2Game blog last week. The Train2Game blog has also taken a look behind the scenes with the Art & Animation department at Splash Damage.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is another new entry at No.2, with Oxfordshire developers Travellers Tales multiformat title selling well across all platforms.  The new entries of Brink and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean push last week’s No.1 – as reported by the Train2Game blog – Zumba Fitness down to No.3.

Portal 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops drop to No.4 and No.5 respectively, with Mortal Kombat falling three places to No.6, while Lego Star Wars III: The Clone wars at FIFA 11 move down two places each to No.7 and No. 8.

Former No.1 Crysis 2 moves up seven spots No. 9, while a third new entry in the form of MX vs. ATV Alive completes the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 14th May 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Brink (Bethesda)
2. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
3. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
4. Portal 2 (EA)
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
6. Mortal Kombat (Warner)
7. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (LucasArts)
8. FIFA 11 (EA)
9. Crysis 2 (EA)
10. MX vs ATV Alive (THQ)

New releases this coming week include L.A. Noire – which as the Train2Game blog reported could be revolutionary for the games industry – and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

So, is it a well deserved No.1 for Brink? Is a strong showing from British game developers good news for you? And will L.A. Noire stroll to top spot next week?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Interview with Train2Game Game Jam organiser Dave Sharp during the event

The Train2Game 48 hour Game Jam took place from March 25th through to March 27THDuring the event the Train2Game blog caught up with both students and crew. The following is an interview with Train2Game Jam organiser Dave Sharp which took place half way through the event. The interview is also available to listen to at www.audioboo.fm/train2game

This Dragon Age 2 developer diary is a must watch for Train2Game students!

Dragon Age 2 Train2Game

Bioware has released a developer diary for Dragon Age 2 which should prove of interest to Train2Game students be they a games developer, games designer or games artist and animator, because it almost contains everything!

The developer diary not only features Executive Producer Mark Darrah, Art Director Matthew Goldman and Lead Designer Mike Laidlaw talking about the concepts and ideas behind Dragon Age 2, but it also features gameplay, concept models and even some nice looking animated videos. Train2Game artists will be especially interested in the latter!

The Dragon Age 2 developer diary begins with Executive Producer Mike Darrah stating that meetings about the game had begun in 2009 before Dragon Age: Origins had even been released.  This cumulated in an impressive looking animated first build which the team say contains many of the elements that feature in the opening of Dragon Age 2.

The developers also say that there were ideas they had in these opening stages that in the end didn’t make the cut. For example, Art Director Matthew Goldman says he wanted protagonist Hawke to be a he lycanthrope that tasted his own blood and howled like a werewolf. Obviously, this idea hasn’t made it into Dragon Age 2!

The idea of cutting out more outlandish concepts from a game is something that games industry consultant Nicholas Lovell discussed during an interview with Train2Game.

Lead Designer Mike Laidlaw also talks us through one of the main changes for Dragon Age 2, where choices the player makes will have affects right away, rather than at the end of the game:

“Where Origins really shone by having this huge epilogue with thousands of variations based on the choices you made, we’ve instead moved that into the gameplay.”

“People you have interacted with at the beginning of the game are going to have their situations profoundly affected by their interactions with Hawke – your character. You re-interact with them. You see how that worked out. So we believe [this] be our most interactive game to date.”

The team also discuss how they’re aware that some of the changes they’ve made are big, but they believe that it will change Dragon Age 2 for the better.

Interested Train2Game students can watch the Dragon Age 2 developer diary below, courtesy of GameSpot UK.

If that isn’t enough Dragon Age 2 action for you Train2Game, you can check out the extended trailer in this Train2Game blog post from August.

Long time Train2Game blog readers will know that we’ve previously been massive advocates of Dragon Age: Origins, even going so far as to say that it’s a game that all Train2Game students should appreciate. The sheer open nature of the game means that the game designers needed to put a lot of effort into writing the different outcomes, while game developers and game artist and animators would have worked on parts of the game that the majority of players may not have even seen!

Dragon Age: Origins also ended up with a lot of game mods, and as Train2Game students will know modding can provide great practice when it comes to using your skills. Perhaps Dragon Age 2 will come with the same opportunities.

Dragon Age 2 is scheduled for release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on March 11th 2011.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Dragon Age 2 developer diary? Does it provide you with a good insight into how producing a game as massive as Dragon Age 2 works? And what do you think about the changes that have been made to the game since Origins? Has the game perhaps been tailored to a console audience?

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