Train2Game News: Mid-week round up

Five months since its release, Minecraft on the Xbox 360 is still selling 27,000 units daily. That’s an estimated 4 million copies sold, further solidifying the games legacy.

Valve’s Steam distribution service now sells software as well as games. The software is for games development. The products currently available on the store are ArtRage Studio Pro, CameraBag 2, GameMaker: Studio, 3D-Coat, 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 11 and of course, Source Film-maker.

Halo 4 won’t be getting Kinect controls, says 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor. His opinion is that while the motion sensor has its uses when it comes to the UI, controlling a core game is not what it’s for. Kinect will be used for Halo Waypoint however, which can be launched from in the game.

Reportedly, Arkane studios’ Dishonored will take over twenty hours to complete playing stealthily with killing no one. A brutal play through, killing anyone in your path, will take between 12 to 14 hours but that’s without exploring every nook and cranny, and knowing the solution to everything beforehand. It should take more thorough or inexperienced players longer than that.

PlayStation Europe is offering a month long internship to who ever can make the best game on LittleBigPlanet for the PS Vita. The best submission, as voted by a PlayStation judging panel, will be rewarded with a month-long internship at Swedish studio Tarsier. Games will be judged on gameplay, originality, and commercial appeal. The winner will eventually help work on official DLC for the game. To register an interest, go here.

A new mod has been developed for Crysis. The mod, StarCry, sees many different hit sci-fi shows making their way into the new user made campaign for the game. Franchises such as Stargate SG1 and Star Wars are featured in the mod.

Chasing Aurora developer, Martin Pichlmair, says that Nintendo is working hard to make the Wii U eShop friendly and open for independent developers. This opens up a whole new market with a new innovative console to work with.

World of Tanks official site, Wargaming.net, say that registration numbers have passed the 40 million mark. Players have been pouring into servers to check out the big 8.0 update, which overhauled WoT’s visuals and added proper physics. World of Tanks is one of the biggest free to play games in the world.

Cliff Bleszinski has announced he is leaving Epic. After two decades with the company he is moving on to expand his career. Whilst with the company he was responsible for games such as Jazzy Jackrabbit and the highly acclaimed Gears Of War series.

Bad Piggies, the Angry Birds spin-off from Rovio, shot to the top spot on the US iTunes App Store within three hours of launch. The firm said the game was the fastest chart-topper in the company’s history. The game is the third from the Finnish studio this year to hit the top spot within it’s first day of release. The other titles were Amazing Alex and of course, Angry Birds Space.

Train2Game News: Games have become easier says Cliff Bleszinski

Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski believes current generation games have become too easy, with developers more focused on appealing to as many people as possible over a challenge.

“It feels like in this current console generation that we’ve taken a lot of steps to grow the audience and what I think’s happened is that the games have become more linear and easier, so it feels like a lot of quick-time-events,” Bleszinski told X360A.

The Epic Games design director – who helped mentor Train2Game student teams during Train2Game and Epic Games’ Make Something Unreal Live contest at The Gadget Show – pointed to Demon Souls and Dark Souls being what he wants.

“The more I play games like that the more I turned off to them and just want to get back to systems interacting with systems, and get back to a game that, you know, when was the last time a game really challenged you and asked something of you, right? There’s a reason why Demon Souls and Dark Souls have taken off lately. It’s because they really require you actually try.” he said.

Bleszinski says the upcoming Gears of War: Judgement will be challenging and allow freedom.

“Casual mode will still be casual, whatever, if you just want to see graphics and you don’t want to die, but every other mode will be hard in this game and you will die,” he said.

“When I played this in 4-player co-op… I mean, I’ve been playing Gears since the beginning of the course and I really have to hunker down and focus, and if my buddies aren’t reviving me, and we aren’t working as a team, you’re going to die, and it’s okay to die a few times in a game to try some different strategies, the S3 respawn system provides unique challenges.” the Epic Games designer added.

There’s more from Cliff Bleszinski here on The Train2Game Blog, while you can get the latest news from Epic Games here.

What are your thoughts on Bleszinski’s comments? Do you believe game developers have made games easier in order to reach a bigger audience?

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

Train2Game News: Gears of War: Judgement developer diary discusses multiplayer game design changes

Gears of War: Judgement will expose players to a time zone they’ve not accessed before and a new type of class based multiplayer. That’s what Epic Games has revealed in a Gears of War: Judgement E3 2012 developer diary.

The game is a prequel which Director of development Rod Fergusson, multiplayer designer Quinn Delhoyo believe offers a different style of gameplay that puts a twist on the Gears of War series.

They also run through the game design mechanics of Overrun, the class based multiplayer mode and reveal that inspiration for it came from the feedback of Gears of War players.

Watch the Gears of War: Judgement E3 2012 developer diary below, right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for news from E3 2012, while there’s more from Epic Games here.

What are your thoughts on the game design changes of multiplayer for Gears of War: Judgement?

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

Microsoft say over 1 million Kinect units sold

Kinect for Xbox 360

One million Kinect motion controllers have been sold in its first ten days on sale, say Microsoft.

The hands free device for the Xbox 360 was launched here in the UK last week, and two weeks ago in the USA. And in an interview with MSNBC, Xbox boss Don Mattrick says the company are pleased with the progress Kinect is making:

“It’s a strong start. Consumers are loving it”

“We are appreciative of the response we have seen from consumers that has culminated in sales of more than 1m units in the first 10 days on the market for Kinect for Xbox 360,”

“This is a great start to the holiday season, and we will continue to work with our retailer partners to keep pace with high demand and deliver against our plan to sell more than 5 million Kinect sensors worldwide by the end of this year.”

Sales of Kinect for the Xbox 360 and its release titles, combined with the massive launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops, helped make last week the biggest ever for video game sales in the UK.

Microsoft are confident that five million Kinect units will be sold before Christmas. The company has previously said that they expect the Kinect hands free controller to become as core to the Xbox 360 as Xbox Live is.

Hardcore gamers may be somewhat put off by the very casual looking launch line up of Kinect right now, but Microsoft have repeatedly stated that there are hardcore titles in the works.  Reports suggest that this will include a Kinect compatible Gears of War game, though whether it’ll be a brand new title, or the Kinect features will be added to a previous game in the series remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, Microsoft can surely expect sales of both the Xbox 360 and the Kinect device to receive a boost during the Black Friday sales, which will also be hitting the UK for the first time this year.

The company also say that Kinect will be available in over 60,000 stores in 38 countries by the vital Christmas period.

So Train2Game, are you among those who own one of the million Kinect units that have been sold? How are you finding it after a week? Do you think it has the potential to reach that figure of five million by Christmas? And what are your thoughts on a Kinect compatible Gears of War game?

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