Train2Game News Eleven new companies join the UK Games Fund community

The fourth round of companies to be awarded grants from the UK Games Fund has been announced today.

Eleven projects including PC, console and VR games developed by companies based across the UK have been selected and will now receive grants to develop their prototypes and undertake to support fellow developers with knowledge-sharing.

The fourth round of funded projects is the most demographically diverse group of companies since the UK Games Fund launched in 2015; 40% of project development teams are female-led and for the first time no London-based companies have made the final selection.

Competition for this round of funding was particularly tough as applicants seeking funding from the UK Games Fund were encouraged to self-select which route was most appropriate for them with the introduction of the Pitch Development Programme. Companies with past experience of shipping a game, a development team in place and ready to mobilise, a business plan and strategy for sustainability in place and with an already well-defined USP were encouraged to apply via the direct application route to Round 4.

Margot James, Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries said:

“It’s marvellous to see grants awarded to companies that reflect such strength and diversity in the video games sector across the UK.

“The UK Games Fund has a proven track record of supporting innovative early stage games development, and I look forward to seeing these teams realise their creative potential.”

To date, the UK Games Fund has supported over 90 projects, and has a growing community with the increasingly popular Tranzfuser competition currently underway with 18 graduate development teams participating.

Paul Durrant, Managing Director, UK Games Talent and Finance CIC said:
“Our aim is to grow the UK’s early-stage games development ecosystem using a community-led approach and these new grant recipients have all agreed to give back significant time to support other companies through various peer-to-peer activities as part of the Creative Industries Sector Deal. Sharing knowledge and experience in this way adds significant value to the investment.”

Train2Game News Virtual Indie Business Summit

Indie developers are you looking to fund your game, find the best route to publish, even grow your studio into a more profitable and professional, long-term and thriving business?

Well look no further than the Business of Indie Games – Virtual Summit 2018 which goes live 24-27 July 2018.

Our mission is simple. We support new indie devs and small to mid-size studios all over the world. We provide access to the hard-won experience, insights and vision from some of the most successful independent video games developers and business people all over the world.

At The Business of Indie Games – Virtual Summit 2018 a vast array of industry developers and businesses (30+) are a click awayaway from sharing their unique experience, providing information that will be invaluable to indie developers and studios, giving them the extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to achieve consistent success.

SIGN UP – LOGIN – BE THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION IN SECONDS

Register Now!

Internet access is the name of the game. Whether you live in London, rural Nebraska or Timbuktu, if you’re a game developer or games industry professional, this is for you. Once signed in an agenda page with links to pre-recorded interviews starting on Tuesday 24 July for 24 hours. On Wed 25 July through Friday 27 July for 24 hours there will be new interviews to watch each day!

There’s a free to attend option and no one is excluded. The Virtual Summit goes live from 24-27 July. And developers can upgrade for permanent and unlimited access for a reasonable cost. Free tickets still available – here.

Global Indie MatchMake 2018

There are also opportunities for developers – established and new – to get their games and game ideas in front of 30+ established publishers, investors, government tech funds, incubators and agents at the Global Indie Matchmake 2018. Publishers and Investors will review the games and set up meetings with the people they are interested in discussing things further with.

Snapshot of 30+ Commercially Astute Indie Devs & Business Folk Interviewed

  • Ago Simonetta, Regional Lead – EMEA MICROSOFT – ID@Xbox
  • Amir Rao, Gavin Simon – Co-Founders @SUPERGIANT GAMES
  • Anya Combs, Games Outreach Lead @KICKSTARTER
  • Mark Morris, Managing Director @INTROVERSION SOFTWARE
  • Des Gayle, CEO @ALTERED GENE
  • Kate Edwards, CEO @GEOGRIFY & Board Member @TAKE THIS
  • Mike Wilson, Co-Founder @DEVOLVER DIGITAL & GOOD SHEPHERD ENT & Board Member @TAKE THIS
  • David Clark, Managing Director @GREEN MAN GAMING PUBLISHING

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, check out the web site and sign up.

Join the discussion right now

Hound Picked Games is proud to be working with The Business of Indie Games as their partners to launch this incredible summit. If you can’t wait to start networking with other event attendees, Hound Picked Games is hosting the Official Business of Indie Games Discord channels.

They’ll be LIVE Q&A Sessions via Discord and more to get involved with, so head on over to https://www.discord.gg/HoundPicked

Train2Game News Writing for video games event

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and London Writers’ Week have announced a writing for video games panel event, which will take place as part of this year’s London Writers’ Week and which will provide access to advice from some of the UK’s leading video games writers.

Taking place on Friday 20th July at 12 – 1pm, the event will be chaired by Writers’ Guild of Great Britain video game committee member David Varela, whose credits include writing the mobile adventure Sherlock: The Network, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, script consultancy on the chart-topping mobile game Zombies, Run! (which was nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award), and writing the murder mystery game The Trace and who is currently narrative designer on an undisclosed project at Criterion Games.

Speakers for the panel event will also include Olivia Wood, who was recently selected by BAFTA as a 2017 Breakthrough Brit, and Rhianna Pratchett, who is an award-winning writer for games, comics, film, TV and short stories whose work has received awards from the WGA, the WGGB, DICE, SXSW, and a BAFTA nomination. Rhianna has written for DC, Dark Horse and Dynamite (notably writing an origin story for Red Sonja’s chain-mail bikini) and is currently working on film and TV projects with the Jim Henson Company, Film4, Big Talk and O3 Productions.

The final panelist will be Andrew S. Walsh who is an award-winning writer/director with credits across film, television, theatre, radio, animation and videogames. To date he has worked on videogames such as The Division 2, Prince of Persia, Lego City: Undercover, Risen, Harry Potter, Fable Legends and Need for Speed. His film work includes the English version of Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, while his time in television includes BBC’s Raven, Emmerdale, Byker Grove, Risk, and Family Affairs. His theatre work includes Wind in the Willows which is touring South London this summer.

Jennifer Tuckett, Director of London Writers Week said: “We are delighted to be able to include this excellent event from The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s video game committee in this year’s London Writers’ Week. Writing for video games is an important opportunity for writers to know about and, as part of London Writers’ Week’s aim to provide access to and showcase the best new ideas going on in new writing in the UK each year, this year in terms of film, we are delighted to be able to provide access to advice from some of the writers leading the way in terms of writing for video games, in partnership with The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s video games committee”.

The event continues the relationship between The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and London Writers’ Week, and The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain has been a supporter of London Writers’ Week since its creation four years ago.

This year’s London Writers’ Week is also donating 100% of all profits to organisations promoting diversity in the arts. The organisations which will be supported by this year’s London Writers’ Week are The Diversity School Initiative, which campaigns for greater diversity in drama schools and whose board members include Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, Actor Awareness, which campaigns for working class actors and writers and who recently made “The Acting Class” documentary with Maxine Peake, Christopher Eccleston and others, the London Playwrights Blog, an invaluable resource providing access to opportunities and advice, and University Women in the Arts, which aims to improve the transition from women studying the arts to working in the arts.

For more information and to book tickets please go to: www.londonwritersweek.com

Train2Game News Antstream streams retro games

Independent technology company, Antstream, announced their self-titled retro-games streaming service today and the first video games streaming service of its kind, Antstream.

Dubbed as gaming’s own version of Netflix, Antstream is a monthly subscription gaming service, offering players unlimited access to iconic games that can be streamed and played instantly via TV, PC, Tablet or Smartphone. Antstream is set to bring Classic PC, arcade and early generation console games to modern platforms, giving gamers instant access to their favourite retro games as well as the opportunity to discover even more.

“We see the future as bringing games to you on your device” says Antstream CEO, Steve Cottam. “Almost any book, music or movie is available to stream through services like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix, whereas most games have been lost as technology has moved on. Antstream enables decades of games to be brought back to life, with unique multiplayer challenges, achievements, leaderboards and modern control schemes.”

Antstream has already caught the attention of one of the UK Games industry’s most celebrated and successful entrepreneurs, Ian Livingstone CBE, now proudly serving as Chairman of Antstream.

“Antstream is an amazing concept – a Netflix of games, in which iconic games are streamed straight to any device…this is incredible and clearly is going to be the future. Antstream is a fantastic way for gamers of today to experience these classic games.”

The Antstream team have big plans for the streaming service, with a vision to offer users as many games as possible from retro classics to the latest day one releases. Retro is only the beginning!

For more information on Antstream, please visit the official website. You can also follow Antstream on Twitter and Like it on Facebook.

Train2Game News ToeJam & Earl are Back in the Groove

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, the upcoming fourth entry of the beloved, funkadelic action roguelike series, releases later this year on consoles and PC.

Greg Johnson, founder, HumaNature Studios, has issued the following statement providing a more exact release window and an update on the developer’s relationship with Adult Swim Games.

“We ARE releasing this year!! Right now we have our sights set on a fall release. We will be making a specific release plan announcement in regards to dates as soon as we have that nailed down.

Going forward Adult Swim Games is no longer going to be our publisher. Instead we are going back to self-publishing! Adult Swim Games has some other big titles they plan to launch this summer so when Back in the Groove pushed back, we both agreed that it made sense for them to hand us the reigns, rather than taking a chance on this getting pushed back any more. Also I’d like to say how deeply grateful I and all of us here at HNS are to Adult Swim Games. We wouldn’t have gotten this game to this point without them…seriously. Thank You Adult Swim!!

We are also going to be opening a closed beta within the next couple weeks for our early-access backers, and we’ll be looking for your feedback! Also, the Nintendo Switch version of the game is just about ready to be submitted for certification by Nintendo, and the other console versions are not too far behind. I’ll give you more details about all of this before this update is done.”

Train2Game News Stephen Fry on Pokemon

A stunning nature documentary-inspired short has been released to celebrate the next wave of Pokémon appearing in Pokémon™ GO (Yes it’s still active!)

From the bright peaks of snowy mountains, to the shadows of the forests, to the bustling city and down into the dark of the oceans around the world, the video pays homage to world renowned nature documentaries as it gradually reveals a variety of Pokémon in their real-world natural habitats—bringing augmented reality one step closer to life.

The animated short is so realistic, viewers may not immediately realise what they’re watching, with the shadows and footprints of the latest Pokémon™ GO characters creating a hyper realistic viewing experience.

The video is narrated by national treasure Stephen Fry with his dulcet tones complementing an original symphonic score by legendary nature documentary composer George Fenton.

This is the third wave of Pokémon to be released for Pokémon™ GO following the game’s hugely successful launch in 2016. Each selection of Pokémon initially appeared in different versions of main series Pokémon games; this latest release includes Pokémon from the games Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire.

The video features some of the newest creatures debuting in Pokémon™ GO, that include cute cheerleader pair Plusle and Minun in a forest along with Mawile and the Bug- and Flying-type Pokémon Masquerain.

In the oceans, a huge underwater Wailord makes a big splash, as well as a school of Luvdisc—a heart-shaped and water-dwelling Pokémon—under the shadow of a looming threat as they are passed by a Sharpedo. There are also appearances from the amphibious Mudkip playing in a pool, cold-loving Snorunt on a high mountain and a cityscape with the elegant Pokémon Delcatty.

See the full trailer here: https://youtu.be/eMobkagZu64

Train2Game Munchkin invading digital platforms


Asmodee Digital, a leader in digital board game entertainment today announced that the multi-million selling dungeon adventure card game, Munchkin, created and published by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated, will be reimagined for digital platforms, under license. 

The upcoming digital adaptation will put everything players love about Munchkin at their fingertips in the next year.

Designed by Steve Jackson and illustrated by John Kovalic, Munchkin is the mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure… minus all that pesky roleplaying business. Friends compete to kill monsters and grab hilarious magic items, like the Horny Helmet, Boots of Butt-Kicking, Staff of Napalm, and Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. While their opponents are busy giggling, players are free to backstab friends, steal their stuff, grab the treasure and run!

Without the standard, long-winded RPG elements, Munchkin is not only fun and fast paced, it’s easily one of the most accessible games of its genre.

“We are thrilled to partner with Asmodee Digital for the first adaptation of Munchkin to digital platforms. Munchkin has become an evergreen game over the years and we believe the time has come to offer fans around the world a truly innovative experience,” says Phil Reed, CEO of Steve Jackson Games.   

The program, on behalf of Steve Jackson Games, was brokered by Surge Licensing, Inc.

For more information:

– Visit Munchkin online: http://www.worldofmunchkin.com/

– Visit Steve Jackson Games online: http://www.sjgames.com/ 

Train2Game News London Games Festival 2018


The London Games Festival will return in 2018, running from 5 April to 15 April, organiser Games London has announced.
The London Games Festival is delivered by Games London, the three-year initiative from 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 Action Panel, and seeks to make London the games capital of the world.

Over 50,000 people attended 40 different events across 20 different venues during the 2017 festival. The Festival has also established itself as a platform for global business in games with the Games Finance Market delivering nearly £20m potential business in April.

Since its launch in January 2016 Games London has connected 145 games businesses in the UK with 109 global investors, driving over £30m potential business back into local companies.

The 2018 festival aims to go even further with a wider programme of outdoor events and an even bigger offering for the games developer community. 

Highlights for next year include:

   

–       The third Games Finance Market (Tuesday, 10 April to Thursday, 12 April) the only event of its kind in the UK, connecting 60 games studios with 60 global games investors

   

–       Now Play This, the three-day festival of playful work and experimental game design at Somerset House

   

–       London’s largest games event EGX Rezzed (Friday, 13 April to Sunday, 15 April), a showcase of PC and indie games, at Tobacco Dock

   

–       The BAFTA Games Awards on Thursday, 12 April at Troxy

   

LGF organisers are also curating the brand new HUB event (Monday, 9 April and Tuesday, 10 April). HUB is a new two-day B2B event housing the Festival’s summits, a demo zone for prototpyes and start-ups, a pop-up coworking space and gallery. More details will follow in September.

Also to be announced later is a fresh range of activities that bring games to life on the city streets covering esports and street art, plus an exhibition of BAME artists in games and the return of the Games Character Parade.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London leads the world in culture, creativity and technology and the city’s games industry plays a major part in that success. In just a couple of years, the London Games Festival has become a major attraction for consumers and professionals alike and Games London is delivering significant investment for our cutting-edge tech sector – showing that London is open to creativity and innovation and open for business.”   

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

Train2Game News Micro Machines World Series Trailer


Codemasters & Deep Silver today released the first gameplay trailer for the hotly anticipated return of the classic gaming franchise, Micro Machines ahead of the release on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC via Steam on June 23. 
You can watch the miniature mayhem unfold in the first Micro Machines World Series gameplay trailer at https://youtu.be/-4VwzxQZOmk

Whether driving the Spy Car destroying a Hovercraft with a NERF Blaster in the Games Room, or the Dump Truck blowing up a Tank with a Dynamite Launcher in the garden, Micro Machines World Series will have players of all ages smiling from ear-to-ear while delivering absolute carnage.

Executive Producer Chris Gray said, “Micro Machines World Series is a fresh new take on the franchise that is great fun for previous players and those new to Micro Machines. It’s a firm fan favorite and we are delighted to be bringing it to the PS4, Xbox One and PC. In addition to the return of the classic Race and Elimination modes, we are extremely excited by the new Battle Arenas. Having 12 players in the same match, all fighting it out with a variety of vehicles and crazy weapons is great fun. Gamers are going to love it.”  

Players will take on a whole new way of racing in Micro Machines World Series. Not only will players be able to burn rubber across the Kitchen table in familiar 4 player ‘sofa style’ local races but also enter into larger 12 player online races. With such a large number of players on one screen, gamers can look forward to seeing 12 vehicles jostling for position and hurtling toward each corner to every map.

In addition to the core racing modes are the Battle Modes which pit up to 12 players into the same arena for frantically competitive multiplayer games including Capture the Flag and Territory as well as 6v6 Team Deathmatch. All of these are set to the varied interactive backdrop of 15 battle arenas including The Laser Lab, Buzzsaw Battle and the evergreen fun of navigating the Hungry Hungry Hippos board without being eaten.

Players can personalize their Battles with 12 new vehicles including the Spy Car, Hovercraft, Monster Truck or G. I. Joe H.I.S.S Tank, each with their own strengths and weapons. Players will set off trying to crush, smash, and destroy opponents with numerous new weapons including the Dynamite Launcher, Tidal Wave, Cobra Turret and NERF Blasters. Every vehicle also has a level of customization with new skins, completely changing the original look. The inclusion of Emotes, Victory Poses, and Grave Stamps also add to the camaraderie and bragging rights at the end of a match.

Adding to the hilarity and fun of Micro Machines, the release is narrated by the one and only Brian Blessed. In his own, recognizable and unique style Brian bursts forth announcing the start of races as well as “ENEMY FLAG TAKEN” and “MICRO MACHINES IS ALIVE!”

Follow updates from the Micro Machines team on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MicroMachinesHQ

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.