Train2Game News TT Games joins forces with big mobile developer

TT Games, part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and the makers of best-selling LEGO® titles including “LEGO® Star Wars™” and “LEGO® Dimensions™,” has acquired the UK-based Playdemic, one of Europe’s highest-regarded mobile games companies. 
Playdemic alongside TT Games studios, Traveller’s Tales and TT Fusion are creating new kinds of LEGO games designed and built for the latest generation of players on mobile.

“We couldn’t be happier to bring on board such a talented and capable team,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “Playdemic brings a unique set of skills to complement our existing studios, and a tremendous track record on mobile. They’re a perfect fit – and will enable us to take advantage of exciting new opportunities to build new kinds of socially-connected LEGO games.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our company,” said Paul Gouge, Playdemic CEO. “We built Playdemic to create innovative, meaningful mobile games with high production values, which deliver a uniquely social, incredibly fun and shared experience for our players – and cannot imagine a better context in which to continue that work. We’re all huge fans of the LEGO Group and the LEGO games made over the years by TT Games, and we’re tremendously proud to be able to make a new contribution to that legacy.”

Based in Wilmslow, Playdemic employs 33 staff. Their existing portfolio of successful mobile titles, including “Golf Clash” and “Village Life,” have been downloaded more than 50M times, generating in excess of $50M of revenue and will remain live and supported by TT Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Playdemic’s latest release, “Golf Clash,” has achieved huge acclaim from players, making it a top grossing title in the US and Internationally.

Train2Game News 17th GDC Awards

Organizers of the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer recognition celebrating the industry’s top games, studios and developers, will recognize Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and creator of ZZT, Unreal and Unreal Engine, with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 
Sweeney will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, taking place on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 6:30pm at the San Francisco Moscone Center during the 2017 Game Developers Conference, and in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival (IGF). The ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2017 pass-holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC’s official Twitch channel at www.twitch.tv/gdc

Sweeney founded seminal shareware game publisher Epic MegaGames in 1991, and the release of its first product, ZZT, led to an explosion of user-created worlds. ZZT has become so beloved as a game/application that it recently led to a full-length book dissection – in the Boss Fight Books series – of the games and culture it created. An expanded Epic MegaGames also released titles such as Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball and Tyrian in the ‘90s as a leader in the PC shareware space.

While serving as the founder and CEO of a renamed Epic, Sweeney was the main architect of the first-generation Unreal Engine. This game engine was originally created for the 1998 PC game Unreal. But it became the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games, initially in the Unreal franchise and increasingly licensed outside of Epic, including the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, and the Batman: Arkham series.

Sweeney also worked to make the Unreal Engine extensible via UnrealScript, a spiritual successor to his object-oriented scripting language for ZZT. This simple way for non-coders to get complex creations made easily led to extensive and creative player modding of games – one of the earliest blossoming of user-generated content. 

But it also led to easier adaptations of the engine – which has now had four major iterations – to other games. These include Epic’s own titles such as Gears of War, Paragon and Fortnite, as well as notable independently created games such as Rocket League, Abz û, Astroneer and ARK: Survival Evolved. The engine is now being adapted by non-game development teams across the automotive, aviation, architecture, VR/AR, complex data visualization and film sectors.

Sweeney joins the roster of previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients which includes Todd Howard, Shigeru Miyamoto, Warren Spector, John Carmack, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, Sid Meier, Ken Kutaragi, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Peter Molyneux, among others.

Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes notable game industry leaders such as Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Doug Lombardi (Valve), Angie Smets (Guerrilla Games), Amir Rao (Supergiant Games) and Jade Raymond (Electronic Arts).

For more information about the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit: http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/ 

Train2Game News Mega Man Mobile

Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games today announced that it will be bringing the six original 8-bit Mega Man® games to iOS and Android devices in early January, just missing the Blue Bombers birthday by a few weeks. 
This is the first time all six of the original 8-bit Mega Man games have been made available on smart devices, 29 years since Mega Man first exploded onto the console scene.

These lovingly-crafted adaptations will remind long-time fans and introduce newcomers to what made the Blue Bomber such a popular and iconic character.  Each game has been optimized for the mobile devices with adjustments to game speed.  Each game will be available separately for $1.99.

The Games Releasing Include:

     Mega Man® Mobile – The evil Dr. Wily must be stopped in this classic action platformer, the original Mega Man!

    Mega Man® 2 Mobile- Dr. Wily resurfaces to threaten the world again! Only Mega Man can stand in his way.

    Mega Man® 3 Mobile – Fight berserk robots on uncharted planets. Mega Man must set a course for space to resolve this mysterious crisis.

    Mega Man® 4 Mobile – A year has passed since Mega Man’s battle in space. A new enemy appears – Dr. Cossack.

    Mega Man® 5 Mobile – Manic robots cause chaos in the city. How is Proto Man involved? Only Mega Man can find out!

    Mega Man® 6 Mobile – The Global Robot Alliance is formed, but this newfound peace is threatened by a new foe – the enigmatic Mr. X!

To pre-register or for additional information, please visit:

http://www.us.capcommobile.com/mega-man
https://www.facebook.com/megaman

Train2Game News BioShock Collection Review

bioshock-collectionWould you kindly read this review I was asked to do for the BioShock Collection?

The BioShock Collection is the remastered collection of BioShock 1, 2 and Infinite with all the DLC by 2K Games and Take Two Interactive.

The games are stunning visual pieces of art and story telling. Seeing these remastered on Xbox One is an absolute delight and a pleasure for the eyes. If you have played the games before everything is still there with the addition of a commentary from Ken Levine to find through the first game to discover more about the process of how the game was created.

If you have played the games before then this is more for the die hard fans as there is not much new for you to discover. However if you have never had the pleasure of the cities of Rapture and Columbia then this is definitely for you as every gamer needs to play the BioShock games.

They have entertaining game play with a mixture of gun play and the plasmids, beautiful locations, enticing stories and complex characters.

In conclusion if you have never played the games this is most definitely a game that needs to be picked up. If you have played them before you won’t find much new but if you just want to go down to Rapture or up to Columbia this is the way to do it.

Train2Game News London Games Festival 2017 Dates

​The London Games Festival will take place from 30 March to 9 April 2017, organiser Games London has announced, along with its plans to grow visitor numbers to 50,000 next year.
The first London Games Festival took place in April 2016 as part of the Games London three-year initiative delivered jointly by Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).

Games London is backed by the Mayor of London, with funding worth £1.2m from the London Enterprise Panel. The three-year programme serves to promote the UK’s games sector and seeks to make London the games capital of the world. Games London ultimately aims to attract £35m of investment to the capital and create 280 jobs, all while underlining the cultural significance of interactive entertainment.

The 10-day celebration in April 2016 welcomed over 38,000 people across 30 different events across 20 different venues and culminated in a games-themed street art commission across multiple London landmarks, from a pub in Walthamstow to the Leicester Square cinema district.

Over 50,000 are expected for 2017’s festival, which will run from 30 March to 9 April. The event will open with EGX Rezzed at Tobacco Dock (30 March to 1 April), with other events confirmed for the schedule including the British Academy Games Awards (6 April) and the return of Now Play This at Somerset House (7 April to 9 April). Further announcements to come will detail activity around eSports, the Festival Fringe and a range of summits and lectures for professionals.

Also returning is the Games Finance Market (4 April to 6 April), an instrumental part of the Games London strategy. The Games Finance Market connects games developers and interactive content creators with investors and funders. In 2017 the event will double in size to welcome 60 investable businesses meeting 60 international investors.

Games London’s programme supporting games businesses has already brought in over £8.5m in potential investment to the capital.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is a global destination for culture and creativity, and the interactive entertainment sector is playing an increasingly important part in this. Games London focuses on harnessing the city’s talent, with the ultimate aim of making London the world capital for video games. It’s fantastic to see the festival expanding in scope, reach and ambition, and connecting London-based talent with overseas investment partners – further proof that our city is open for business.”

Follow @londongamesfest on Twitter or head to www.games.london for more updates over the coming weeks and months.

Train2Game News Batman Telltale Series Episode One now available

Leading and award-winning developer and publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games, in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, today released the season premiere episode of the highly anticipated  BATMAN – The Telltale Series, now available for download.
BATMAN – The Telltale Series Episode One: Realm of Shadows makes its worldwide debut digitally today on PC from the Telltale Online Store, Steam, and other digital distribution services; on the PlayStation®Network for PlayStation 4; and on the Xbox Games Store for Xbox One®. The premiere episode will also be available later this week on Mac from the Telltale Online Store, Steam, and other digital distribution services; later this month on the PlayStation®Network for PlayStation 3, and on the Xbox Games Store for Xbox 360®; and the week of Sept. 13 for compatible iOS devices via the App Store, and for compatible Android-based devices via Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. 

The series will also be available to purchase at retailers for a MSRP of $29.99 USD or equivalent starting Sept. 13 in North America as a special “Season Pass Disc,” which will include the first of five episodes in the season, and will grant access to the subsequent four episodes as they become available for download via online updates. The series will then be available to purchase at retailers across Europe beginning Sept. 16.

“Creating an entirely original story surrounding the man behind the mask and challenging players to take on the role of Bruce Wayne just as much as the mythic Batman has resulted in one of our most sophisticated Telltale series yet,” said Kevin Bruner, CEO, Co-Founder of Telltale Games. “Our game will explore all aspects of Bruce’s life, from his tense encounters in public with Gotham City’s most notorious criminals by day, to his thrilling chases across the rooftops at night, players will think twice about their choices and consequences in a city that’s always watching the actions of its most famous billionaire.”

“Telltale Games is renowned for its unique style of interactive storytelling, which is a great match for the incredibly iconic character of Batman,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “We are excited to further expand our partnership with Telltale to bring fans an entirely new way to experience the many layers of Bruce Wayne’s story.”

The series also marks the first ever unique, local multiplayer options for a Telltale game with the all-new  Crowd Play feature. Revealed at the game’s sneak preview during San Diego Comic-Con,  Crowd Play allows game owners to invite a group of players to vote on story decisions and give feedback from their mobile devices using any web browser connected online when following along with the lead player on a main screen. The feature is designed to allow 2-24 or more players to enjoy episodes together in their living rooms, and will also accommodate much larger crowds and audiences of over 1,000 at special upcoming live events in theaters organized by Telltale.  Crowd Play will allow for a new and instantly accessible way for players to enjoy Telltale entertainment together as a group, creating an experience that continues to break new ground in the space between games and interactive cinematic storytelling. 

Visit telltale.com/crowdplay/support for more information on the feature.

BATMAN – The Telltale Series is an episodic game series licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and based on DC’s iconic character. Rendered to look like a living, breathing comic book, Telltale’s vision of Batman features an award-winning cast of talent, including Troy Baker in the role of  Bruce Wayne, Travis Willingham as  Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as  Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as  Alfred Pennyworth, Murphy Guyer as  Lieutenant James Gordon, Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone, and Laura Bailey as  Selina Kyle. Additional cast and characters will be revealed as the season progresses.

Train2Game News XSplit Broadcaster on Steam

XsplitStreaming superpower SplitmediaLabs and chat lurkers Devolver Digital have launched the pioneering and top-selling streaming software XSplit Broadcaster and Gamecaster on Steam [http://store.steampowered.com/app/433800/].

XSplit free is available now on Steam for – well, free – and the fully featured XSplit Premium is available for $9.99 per month.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering up with Devolver Digital to bring XSplit to players on Steam” said John Howe Marshall, CMO for SplitmediaLabs “Getting started with live streaming right now couldn’t be easier, and we’re looking forward to ushering in a new wave of awesome content creators and help them shape the future of gameplay broadcasting.”

XSplit Broadcaster is one of the most popular and widely used applications for live Internet broadcasting, with a user base ranging from hobbyists to prominent professional casters in more than 150 countries. XSplit allows users to record or live stream any type of media, while taking advantage of TV-like broadcasting features that anyone can learn to master.

XSplit Gamecaster is the world’s easiest live streaming and recording solution, allowing for users to upload and share their greatest gaming moments to popular video services such as Twitch and YouTube, at just the click of a button.

Both XSplit Broadcaster and Gamecaster have recently undergone a feature-wide update. XSplit 2.8 includes a major design upgrade for Gamecaster as well as new features including Unlimited Scenes, YouTube Gaming Chat Support, Custom URI support, and more. These platforms receive over 7,000 sign-ups per day and well over 200,000 new users every month.

“There will never be a time in my life that I understand nerds watching other nerds play nerd games on the internet,” said Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker. “That said, you should buy XSplit from me and then stream all sorts of nonsense and get them subs.”

Train2Game News Man vs Snake Documentary

ManVsSnakeMAN VS SNAKE: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, the acclaimed documentary chronicling one man’s journey to reclaim his video game legacy, has been picked up for distribution by leading independent film and documentary publisher FilmBuff.

MAN VS SNAKE, which took home ‘Best Documentary Film’ at Fantastic Fest 2015 and Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016, is a window into the hyper-insular subculture of competitive gaming: the ultimate tale of man vs technology – or, in this instance, man vs old-school arcade cabinet. The film will be released across all On Demand platforms, including iTunes, Steam, Google Play, XBox, Playstation, Amazon, and Vudu, as well as select theater showings across the United States.

If you ever played the game “Snake” on your early model Nokia cellphone, then you’re familiar with “Nibbler,” the original “snake” game. MAN VS SNAKE tells the story of Tim McVey who, in 1984, on a single quarter (and over 44 hours of non-stop play) was the first person in history to score one billion points on a video game. 25 years later, rumors of a higher score surface online, attributed to Italian kickboxing champion Enrico Zanetti. This calls into question everything Tim McVey has believed for decades and forces him to make a decision: either set a new world record, or risk losing his legacy forever. He’ll have to overcome psychological exhaustion and the limits of his physical condition – not to mention a challenge from one of the most notorious men in competitive gaming.

Featuring cameos from competitive arcade gamer and entrepreneur Billy Mitchell, and businessman, historian, and founder of Twin Galaxies, Walter Day, Jr., MAN VS SNAKE is a quirky, comical, and frequently inspiring emotional journey created by Battlestar Galactica editors and professional geeks, Andrew Seklir and Tim Kinzy. The project was originally revealed in August of 2013 on Kickstarter, where it raised a total of $61,440 USD from several hundred backers.

“MAN VS SNAKE seems like it should be unrelatable – I mean, I couldn’t play an arcade game for four hours, much less 44,” said Andrew Seklir, Producer, Director and Film Editor. “But McVey embodies so much of what I love about this story – a certain specificity of obsession; dogged determination to leave a legacy; ceaseless tenacity in the face of a seemingly insurmountable goal. It’s been a trip following him through his truly weird journey, and I’m thrilled to get to share his remarkable story with the world.”

“Andrew and Tim have done something special here,” said FilmBuff’s Jake Hanly. “Tim McVey is a person you can’t help but root for, and they turned his story into a movie you can’t help but root for.”

Train2Game News Student Studio lands lucrative contract

LDP OnlineAppatier Limited has begun a project for a training provider; creating a Pizzeria to teach employees about ‘Kaizan’

John Esslemont and his team are designing a game for online training provider LDP-Online as part of a paid contract. The art of Japanese organisation is combining with the modern phenomenon of videogames (and pizza), as Appatier Limited design an app to teach employees about management. John also used the opportunity to say he supports Train2Game and the work it does for students.

The team is currently working on a pizza game that teaches people about ‘Kaizan’ which is Japanese for organisation. The educational game lets people learn about management and perfect running a team. It sounds simple but designing a game where multiple actions have to time together to the second, has been a challenge. It’s the first game of its kind that John is aware of, but he expects lots more in the future.

John has had a good experience with Train2Game and loves the staff; he learnt lots about games development and self-motivation. Says some students don’t get the most out of Train2Game and they are to blame for not applying themselves. That many students have gone on to setup indie studios and work at AAA Developers. Extremely appreciative of the staff at Train2Game and grateful to them for getting him where he is today.

John is using all his own project management skills to get the job done, and working with his team on the project. The job came through his Train2Game network of contacts. His advice to other students looking to get professional contracts is get out there and ‘work your butt off.’

John Esslemont, Director, Appatier Limited: ‘The experience was good with Train2Game and the staff that work for them are amazing! With Train2Game I learnt a lot of aspects of game development through the course and other students along with a load of self-study which is essential to learning in any field.’

‘I see some people feeling disgruntled with Train2Game that they haven’t learnt anything or haven’t progressed and feel the need to blame Train2Game. That is complete rubbish, I know a tonne of students who are now into AAA games, or indie games studios, it all takes self-discipline to get anywhere in this field. Sorry just felt like I needed to get that in there.’

‘Without train2Game and I sincerely mean this, I doubt I would be where I am, the staff there I have got to know over the past couple years have been amazing with me, especially Harry & Eric, those guys are the boyo’s.’

‘Right now we are working on a restaurant style game that is designed to help people learn Kaizan, which is a Japanese term for organisation essentially. The client is LDP-Online. It will but will be available via LDP-Online and the App Stores. We hope this will be the first of many projects.’

‘The point of the game is for you to think like a manager, you must position your staff and give them jobs to complete. The app will be used for training purposes on the Kaizan principle.

‘If your staff do a terrible job that is of course down to you, and you must learn how to adapt to this fast to get your staff in a rhythm, which will in turn generate you more profit and help you complete the game. It is in terms of thought a small game, turns out all the inner workings like timings, staff jobs, etc are a little more complicated than we first thought.’

‘The job came through a contact of Train2Game, part of the training providers network. As a student they were aware of me and then I got put forward for the job, and was lucky enough to get it. I haven’t seen very many of games like this, mostly because I haven’t searched for them, but I 100% believe that this sort of thing will grow exponentially in the training markets.’

‘The biggest thing I feel that is helping me personally is my ability to manage a team and understand the whole process while being involved in every aspect of the game’s design and development. I am a programmer, but also project manager along with the director so I have to organise everything and make sure everyone is working to deadlines and plans, if they are not that needs to be changed or adapted to the current situation.’

‘I’ve not worked on anything like this at all, in fact it was our first 2D game so we had to learn a lot of the basics and setups to get this right. Once you feel comfortable making games you tend to throw yourself into it really. It has gone really good up to now, some hiccups but nothing serious which is always good.’

‘The timings and how everything is structured has been difficult, the game is designed in such a way that the timings need to be near perfect for it to work. For example is a guy is walking from point A to point B but he needs to take 7 seconds to arrive there, we then need to dynamically change his speed so that it only takes him 7 seconds to get there. Simple math but lots of things like this piling up and all intertwining can become a bit of a brain dead moment.’

‘My advice for other students looking for their first paying client: Put yourself out there; go to the Unity forums, Unreal forums, UpWork and more. Honestly apply for everything within your skill set or what you think you can do. Do not ever be put off by someone asking for something you don’t know what to do right now as that is part of learning. So if you see a job you like the look off and have say a basic understanding of what needs to be done and how you would roughly do it, then go for it!’

‘Once you have your client, work your butt off for them, but also remember to not let them think they own you, define what your work will involve and work to what you both agreed. If they want changes, that is fine, if they want more features or something similar charge them for your time!’

‘I learnt that the hard way!’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2game News Pocket Gamer Awards 2016

image

Steel Media, publisher of Pocket Gamer, feels as sprightly as an Irish Setter at finally being able to reveal the winners of the seventh edition of the Pocket Gamer Awards.

A record-shattering number of votes by PG readers this year has determined the final standings, with the Square Enix Montreal-developed Lara Croft GO dominating by claiming the Android Game of the Year, Overall Game of the Year, and Best Developer awards.

Meanwhile, celebrated puzzler The Room Three secured iOS Game of the Year, with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Super Meat Boy grabbing the equivalent honors for 3DS and PS Vita, respectively.

And there was more handheld recognition in the Best Publisher category, with Nintendo claiming the award for an impressive third year in a row (and fourth time overall).

In addition to the above awards, which focused on games released during 2015, this year’s edition also featured the ‘Pocket Gamer Legends’ categories. Designed to coincide with Pocket Gamer’s 10-year anniversary in March, the three PG Legends awards celebrate the games, developers, and publishers that the PG team feels have most impressed from the past decade.

Some enthusiastic and very close voting eventually saw Supercell and Gameloft emerge as PG Legends Best Developer and Publisher, respectively, with readers evidently keen to reward the considerable contribution both companies have made to mobile gaming over the past few years.

When it came to the PG Legends Best Game, the fight proved even tighter. But once the votes were cast it was the critically acclaimed (and Apple Game of the Year 2013) Ridiculous Fishing from admired indie studio Vlambeer which reeled in the distinguished honour of being named the finest mobile gaming experience of the decade.

To further mark the special occasion, the PG Awards include for the first time runners-up positions in all categories. They, along with the deserved winners, can be viewed at http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/pgawards2016