Train2Game News: Top 3 Game Engines

UDKAcross the past week Train2Game held a poll to see which is your favourite game engine. These are the results!

In descending order the Third most popular games engine for Train2Game Students is the CryEngine 3.  It was originally developed by German studio, Crytek, as a technology demo for Nvidia and, when the company saw its potential, it was turned into a game. That first game developed using the engine was the first Far Cry.

The CryEngine 3 Free SDK, originally called Sandbox Editor, is the current version of the level editor used to create levels for the CryEngine line of game engines by Crytek. Tools are also provided within the software to facilitate scripting, animation, and object creation. It has been included with various Crytek games and is used extensively for modding purposes. The editing style is that of the sandbox concept, with the emphasis on large terrains and a free style of mission programming. The editor can also construct indoor settings.

Recently the engine has been used to create games such as Crysis 3, Monster Hunter Online and Ryse which will be released on the Xbox One.

Second in the poll was the Unity engine. Unity (also called Unity3D) is a cross-platform game engine with a built-in IDE developed by Unity Technologies. Unity is primarily used to create mobile and web games, but can also deploy games to consoles or the PC. The game engine was developed in C/C++, and is able to support code written in C#, JavaScript or Boo. It grew from an OS X supported game development tool in 2005 to the multi-platform game engine that it is today.

The Unity Engine is simple to use and as of this month free to publish to mobiles. It is clear why it is popular among Train2Game Students.

The Unity Engine has been used to create popular mobile games such as Bad Piggies, Slender: The Arrival and it was used to port Temple Run 2 to Android devices.

Finally the number one games engine according to Train2Game students is Epic’s Unreal Engine. Although primarily developed for first-person shooters, it has been successfully used in a variety of other genres, including stealth, MMORPGs and other RPGs. With its code written in C++, the Unreal Engine features a high degree of portability and is a tool used by many game developers today. It was first developed in 1998 for Unreal.

The third and current generation of the Unreal Engine (UE3) is designed for DirectX (versions 9-11 for Windows and Xbox 360), as well as systems using OpenGL, including the PlayStation 3, OS X, iOS, Android, Stage 3D for Adobe Flash Player 11, JavaScript/WebGL, PlayStation Vita and Wii U. Its renderer supports many advanced techniques including HDRR, per-pixel lighting, and dynamic shadows. It also builds on the tools available in previous versions.

In October 2011, the engine was ported to support Adobe Flash Player 11 through the Stage 3D hardware-accelerated APIs. Epic has used this version of the engine for their in-house games. Aggressive licensing of this iteration has garnered a great deal of support from many prominent licensees. Epic has announced that Unreal Engine 3 runs on both Windows 8 and Windows RT.

The engine is free to download and has a small charge of $99 to publish from, as long as you don’t make over $50,000 after which Epic will start to take a percentage.

The Unreal engine has been used in countless games including The Batman Arkham Games, BioShock Infinite, The Borderlands games, Dishonored, The Gears of War series and countless others.

It is quite clear why the Unreal Engine is the most popular engine among Train2Game Students.

Train2Game news: Devs need to be ‘surgical’ and ‘creative’ with next gen games – Bleszinski

Train2Game students will see fewer Triple-A titles when the next generation of consoles arrives, and they’ll need to be developed in a surgical manner.  At least that’s according to Epic Games Cliff Bleszinski, who wants the next gen to have Avatar style visuals.

“The six-to-eight hour triple-A game might be going away, maybe there’s only three or four that come out a year, and those are the established brands.” he told OXM when asked about next gen hardware.

The Gears of War designer argued that the key for game developers to survive is to understand the market, both from a business and development point of view.

“The key is to bet on people who understand technology, but also understand creative and business. Too many games are made just because somebody says ‘A bullfighting game sounds cool!’ And you’re like ‘That would only play in Spain.’ said Bleszinski.

“People just get these random things they want to make, and other people throw money at them without looking at the business. We need not only to be creative but also to be surgical in terms of the games we make.” he added.

It isn’t the first time Bleszinski has commented on what’s needed to get by in the games industry. Indeed, as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, he’s given advice on what games industry professionals should do to make a name for themselves.

And while Bleszinski has previously hinted he has knowledge of next-gen consoles, the Train2Game blog has previously reported that he believes there’s much more to come from the current crop. It looks like Triple-A titles still have some time left then!

What are your thoughts on Bleszinski’s comments? Are the days of huge Triple-A titles numbered? Will developers have to think more about the games they produce?

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

[Source: OXM]

Train2Game news: Gears of War director Cliff Bleszinski wants Avatar visuals for next-gen

Train2Game students will agree that there are some games with amazing graphics out there, but Gears of War 3 Design Director Cliff Bleszinski believes that they can get much better.

How much better is that? Well, the Epic man believes next-gen games should be able recreate the CG visuals of Avatar!

“I’m sorry, do you think graphics are good enough? No they’re not!” he told OXM.

“The Xbox 360 is great, we’ve pushed it further than we ever have with Gears of War 3, but I want Avatar in real-time and beyond, I want fully realistic CG, and are we there? Absolutely not. I think there’s absolutely room for improvement,”

But while Blesizinski – along with Train2Game students, no doubt! – wants better graphics, he admits that looks aren’t everything but they can make a gameplay experience much more impressive.

“Do graphics make gameplay? No. But when I fire up my projector back at my house, put Avatar on – it still makes your jaw drop, it’s like a giant portal to another planet. I think we still have a long way to go before we get there, and I want us to get there.”

However, the Gears of War Director added that it’s online that’ll be the most important thing for games and their developers in future.

“My money for the future of everything is on those who understand the online space the best. Because this is the world we live in, we’re always connected” he said.

The whole OXM article about what Epic wants for next-gen consoles should make interesting reading for Train2Game students.

Despite Bleszinski’s desire for games to be developed with Avatar like quality, the Train2Game blog has previously reported that he believes there’s still much more to come from current gen consoles.

And not so long ago, he gave some advice on what aspiring game developers, such as Train2Game students, should do to stand out. Read it here on the Train2Game blog.

Cliff Bleszinski is Design Director at Epic Games, and as Train2Game students will know, Epic has partnered with Train2Game for the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam which takes place on 4th, 5th and 6th of November. 

What are your thoughts on Bleszinski’s comments? Do games need Avatar like visuals? Can you see it happening?

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

[Source: OXM via Industry Gamers]

Train2Game students, want to stand out in the games industry? Cliffy Bleszinski has some advice…

Train2Game students will need to stand out both in ability, and as a character, in ordered to get noticed in the games industry. This could include wearing a silly hat.

That’s according to comments made by Gears of War 3 creator Cliff Bleszinski about what game developers need to do to make a name for themselves.

“It’s not always easy for the majority of them, but the best thing you can do for your career is to be an actual name as opposed to just, and I hate to say it, a gear in the machine,” he told Develop.

And the Gears of War 3 man recognises that you have to be good at what you do, but it’s also important to make yourself a little distinctive.

“First and foremost, make a great game but also have a personality. Be the guy with the hip glasses, with the one gauge earring and the gamer tattoo all the way to the sleeves with a skateboard. Stand out,” he said.

“Be a person, be a brand. Just do something so that people know who you are. Have an online presence more than ever. Understand social channels.”

Many Train2Game students will already know about Twitter, and how some can use it to aid in their success. Train2Game also has its own Twitter account.

Bleszinski use’s creator of Minecraft – a hugely popular game on the Train2Game forum –  Markus ‘Notch’ Persson as an example of a developer using alternative means to make a name for themselves.

“He’s got over 300,000 followers and he has the hat. Clearly the guy gets a certain amount of the branding right, he’s got the cool nickname, he’s got the hat he wears everywhere. You spot him and know what he looks like. He’s an example like Jon Blow.” said the Epic Design Director.

The Develop interview – which Train2Game students can read here – should make interesting reading for Train2Game students, with Cliff Bleszinski also discussing development behind the Gears of War series.

Last month, the Train2Game blog reported that Bleszinski thinks there’s much more to come from current generation consoles.

So Train2Game, what do you think of Bleszinski’s comments? Is it important for game developers to be distinctive to stand out above the crowd?? Would you consider wearing a funny hat to be recognised?

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

[Source: Develop]

Train2Game news: UK charts – FIFA 12 is third biggest ever launch

Train2Game blog readers probably won’t be too surprised, but FIFA 12 has shot to No.1 in its debut week on sale, becoming the third biggest ever UK game launch ever.

It overtakes the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV and only the previous two Call of Duty titles have enjoyed bigger first week sales. FIFA 12 takes top spot from last weeks’ chart topper Gears of War 3.

Regular Train2Game blog readers will be used to seeing the FIFA name in the charts, with the previous title in the series, FIFA 11, still in the UK charts top ten as recently as last month.

The success of FIFA 12 sees F1 2011 from Codemasters slip one spot to No.3, ahead of non-mover and previous long time chart topper Zumba Fitness at No.4. Meanwhile, another former No.1 in the form of Dead Island drops to No.5 in its fourth week on sale.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution slides one to No.6, sitting one spot ahead of the PlayStation 3 exclusive new entry Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD remake bundle.

UK developed Driver: San Francisco slips to No.8, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean remains at No.9, while Call of Duty: Black Ops once again re-enters the top ten.

X-Men: Destiny from Activision enters the charts at No.18 in its first week on sale.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 1st October 2011 is therefore as follows:

  1. FIFA 12 (EA)
  2. Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)
  3. F1 2011 (Codemasters)
  4. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
  5. Dead Island (Deep Silver)
  6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square Enix)
  7. Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (Sony)
  8. Driver: San Francisco (Ubisoft)
  9. LEGO Pirates of the Carribean (Disney)
  10. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)

Releases this week include Dark Souls and RAGE. Train2Game students can find out more about RAGE from id Software in the Train2Game interview with Creative Director Tim Willits.

What are your thoughts on the success of FIFA 12? Will it remain a big seller for almost a year, like its predecessor?  Can Dark Souls or RAGE knock it from No.1?

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

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

Train2Game news: Gears of War 3 is No.1

Train2Game forum users, at least a significant proportion of them, were very excited about the release of Gears of War 3 and it seems that excitement was replicated throughout the country.

Gears of War 3 is the new UK No.1, becoming the fastest selling new game of the year in the process and Britain’s 12th biggest game launch of all time.

F1 2011 from Codemasters is another new entry at No.2, and Train2Game students can get an insight behind the scenes of its development in our in depth interview with Chief Game Designer Steve Hood.

The new entries push previous chart topper Dead Island down to No.3, while Zumba Fitness jumps up two places to No.4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution remains at No.5 for the third consecutive week.

Driver: San Francisco slips to No.6, with Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Resistence 3 dropping five spots each to No.7 and No.8 respectively.  LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and Rugby World Cup 2011 complete the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 24th September 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)
2. F1 2011 (Codemasters)
3. Dead Island (Deep Silver)
4. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square Enix)
6. Driver: San Francisco (Ubisoft)
7. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (THQ)
8. Resistance 3 (Sony)
9. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
10. Rugby World Cup 2011 (505 Games)

New titles for release this week include FIFA 12.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Gears of War 3 topping the charts? Will it be the same again next week, or will FIFA 12 take the top of the table?

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

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

Train2Game news: More to come from current gen consoles says Gears of War 3 designer

Train2Game students may be eagerly any announcements on the next generation of consoles, but there’s plenty of life in what we already have yet.

That’s according to Epic Games Design Director and the man behind Gears of War 3, Cliff Bleszinski.

“I think if we bring out any more products on the 360 depending on life cycle, we’ll be able to squeeze more water from that stone,” he told The Telegraph.

“That said, I still think there is a huge amount of room for improvement in graphics. We want to get to Avatar-quality and real time and beyond. I think we can absolutely get there, hopefully in the next generation if everybody ponies up and does good hardware.”

And Bleszinski hinted that there are already new consoles in the works, but refused to be drawn on anything. “I could tell you, but I’d violate an NDA.” he said.

Nothing is official, but as the Train2Game blog reported earlier this year, Microsoft were looking for designers to work on the next Xbox console.  Meanwhile, Sony claim they’re in no rush to develop the successor to the PlayStation 3.

There’s no indication of any release dates for the next generation of consoles, but some Train2Game students have speculated that the 2014 release scheduled of the newly announced Homefront 2 sequel could point to it being one of the first next-gen titles.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Cliff Blesinski’s remarks?  How much room for improvement do you think the current generation of consoles has? And when do you think we’ll see new systems released?

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

[Source: The Telegraph]

Train2Game game designers could write for the ‘dominant story telling medium’

Train2Game students could see their future work become part of the chief method of portraying stories. At least that’s the case according to the writer of Gears of War 3.

Video games are going to be the “dominant story telling medium” Karen Traviss told CVG.

And she believes that even if the game doesn’t have the greatest narrative in the world, it’s still the most compelling way of telling the story due to the players’ involvement.

“You get something out of it because you are acting on the story,” said Traviss.

“Even with games that don’t require you to make story choices you still engage with it in a different way so it’s a great stimulus to your mental processes as well. These are not brainless things,” she added.

It isn’t the first time Traviss has spoken about game design, with the Train2Game blog reporting last month that she believed ‘iconic’ games needed good writers. Her words split opinion of Train2Game students on the Train2Game forum.

And the Gears of War 3 writer isn’t the only one who believes storytelling in video games is going to become even more significant in future.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Darkness II Game Director Sheldon Carter believes that game design and narrative are only going to become stronger as video games try to break their “final frontier”

Far Cry 3 Narrative Director Jason Vandenberghe previously told the Train2Game blog that the use of actor and motion capture is also playing an increasingly significant part in video game story telling.

So Train2Game, do you think video games can become the most dominant story telling medium? What is going to help them achieve it?

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

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game Game Designers already know it… ‘iconic’ games need good story says Gears of War 3 writer

Gears of War 3 Train2Game blog image

Train2Game students, Train2Game Game Designers in particular, know that a good story can make or break a game.

While some may not believe story is a significant factor in a shooter, Gears of War 3 writer Karen Traviss believes that it’s hugely important whatever the game type.

“Gears is a thriller, it’s a horror whodunnit set in a war. You have to keep the tension going right up to the final frame of the final cinematic and even after the credits.” Traviss told GameSmack

She explained that story telling – and therefore Game Design – is something that’s needed for a game to become iconic.

“Okay, a lot of players think they don’t care about story, but they’d notice (and gripe) if it wasn’t there, a game has to be more than good gameplay to become iconic.” said Traviss.

“That’s how I wrote it, and as far as I know, because I haven’t seen anything of the game since they started on the technical polish more than a year ago, that’s the way it still is.

“A lot of post-recording changes get made in games for technical reasons, and stuff has to be chopped or changed sometimes, but the emotional stakes are so much part of the fabric that the impact will still survive.”

Game Design and storytelling are becoming an ever more significant factor in developing top games. Indeed, back in June the Train2Game blog reported that The Darkness 2 Game Director  Sheldon Carter believed that Game Design is the ‘final frontier’ game development.

“I think story is the final frontier for games” he said. “We’re kind of getting there tech-wise. Mechanics-wise it’s cool that we’re innovating but it’s still in the basic same themes. I think story is eventually where we’ll all end up going.”

Upcoming games that also focus on the Game Design Narrative include Uncharted 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. For more on the writing and Game Design behind Uncharted 3, see the Train2Game blog.

Interested Train2Game students can also see a post that goes into great depth about the Game Design process behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

So Train2Game, how important do you believe story telling is in games? Do you care about the story of Gears of War 3?

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

[Source: Gamesmack via Beefjack]

Summary: Eurogamer Expo 2010

EurogamerTrain2Game was at the Eurogamer Expo over the weekend and naturally so was I. During my time inside Earls Court not only did I get hands on time with a number of upcoming games, but I also attended some very interesting Developer Sessions.

Future blogs will go into much more detail about my impressions of the Eurogamer Expo, but here is a summary of what I saw, what I played, and  some initial impressions of what I found out.

Killzone 3 looks good in 3D…probably.

The first game I played at the Eurogamer Expo was Killzone 3, which can probably be considered odd that I’ve not played a Killzone title before. (Though I did almost buy Killzone 2 once) The main attraction of Killzone 3 was not only an opportunity to play a game that’s not released until February 2011, but to experience a game in 3D for the first time.

I excitedly sat down, put the PlayStation 3 controller in my lap, then picked up the 3D glasses. Unfortunately, 3D glasses don’t fit over regular glasses, which marred my entire experience. My time spent playing Killzone 3 was effectively played in double vision! It’s bound to be a good game, but I couldn’t get to grips with Killzone 3 due to my need for regular glasses.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood introduces a new type of multiplayer experience.

The Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer mode got its first public showing in the UK at the Eurogamer Expo and due to its popularity, I didn’t get much time to play the game. However, after watching others play the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer mode, it’s clear that it certainly does bring something different to the multiplayer table. This isn’t just aiming weapons in the direction of your enemy and hoping for the best, it’s all about stealth and cunning as you try to take out one specific target. Expect more on Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood later this week.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is rather impressive.

As the evening arrived, the Eurogamer Expo started getting quieter so I was able to sit down and spend a good half hour playing Ninja Theory’s upcoming title Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. I played through the first chapter and a half of the game, and this short introduction suggests that everything is fitting into place nicely. There’ll be a full article about my time playing Enslaved: Odyssey to the West later this week. And in addition to this you’ll see…

insights into the development of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

Ninja Theory’s Tameem Antoniades provided and interesting Developer session about the production of Enslaved. He took us through how the game was made right from the basic concept, through character design, to script writing with Alex Garland and ‘filming’ the scenes using motion capture. Again, expect to see more about this later in the week.

Now of course this isn’t everything I experienced at the Eurogamer Expo, but is just a mere taster. In upcoming blogs not only can you expect to see more about these games, but also about others including Medal of Honor, Gears of War 3 and Marvel is Capcom 3.

In the meantime, what were your highlights of the Eurogamer Expo?

As usual, leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum.