Train2Game News 20 years of Goldeneye


​Friday marks 20 years since Goldeneye for N64 was released to the world. 

Keystone Games – a new AAA developer and publisher with the mission to give the majority of RRP to help terminally ill and disabled children – has a surprising link to the game, through its COO and CTO, Jane Whittaker.

In the same week Keystone Games has signed off the final release build for its new game, in collaboration with Big Fat Alien, Rogue Islands.

Keystone Games COO and CTO, Jane Whittaker – former Development Director, and later Executive Vice President in addition to becoming a director of the UK arm of United Artists – comments:

“ Its 20 years this week since the release of Goldeneye for Nintendo 64, a landmark game in the FPS genre. I am privileged and honored to have played a part in the evolution of the genre and Goldeneye itself during my career.

Before talking Goldeneye, I want to cast your minds back to its spiritual predecessor. My involvement with the FPS “corridor shooter” began with Purple Hampton, Mike Beaton and myself developing Alien Vs Predator for the Atari Jaguar.

Trailer for Alien Vs Predator on YouTube (the gameplay was done by Whittaker)

Hold your breath for this tidbit of information. AvP was actually the second proper 3D corridor shooter made after Wolfenstein! It is the first shooter to feature full 3D environments with floors and ceilings in the history of gaming and, as per this year’s Guinness Book of Records, the first ever game to allow you to play the monster! (Thank you Purple for that idea!) Mike and I put our heart and soul in to developing AvP as programmers and designers alongside the production genius of Purple.

Developed for the most part in Sunnyvale, we actually shared an office with the Id Software guys as they were developing Wolfenstein Jaguar version. To the cubicle to my left was Wolfenstein, to my right the icon who is Jeff Minter, developing Tempest 2000! What an incredible creative environment.

Fast forward further in my career and I find myself at Metro Goldwyn Mayer as Director of Development and this great idea that we could do a high-quality shooter with Nintendo for the N64 based around Goldeneye. Let’s think about that, the N64 was renowned for cutesy fun games like Mario.

Could the console demographic really support an audience of gamers eager to play James Bond? sniping and exploding their way through multiple game levels? At MGM, we owned the license and were very keen that we created a true James Bond game and not some watered-down parody or something like Mario Bond. It had to be James Bond, it had to be authentic, it had to be gritty. It also had to be fun!

The best development team in the world at that time, Rare, picked up the mantle to build something very special around a franchise we protected very carefully at MGM. I had done a massively successful FPS, could we put a team together with the Nintendo guys to create another watershed game?

For my part, I like to do my research. I spent hundreds of hours with Fox researching the Alien and Predator movies and now I am all ready to go researching James Bond.

The advantage of being Development Director at MGM is that you can actually go to the James Bond stage at Pinewood and see the real movies being filmed! I defy anyone not to be creatively enthused by watching Pierce Brosnan (or at least his double!) jump over obstacles amid all the noise and pyrotechnics of a Bond shoot at the massive Bond stage in Pinewood. I was a little kid in a candy shop. Well actually it was all serious research for Goldeneye honestly! (if you believe that you will believe anything as I literally had a blast and was allowed to trigger an explosion by the special effects team!)

I came back to the USA from Pinewood Studios refreshed, invigorated and with a mind whirling with ideas. Would the powers that be take the plunge and create something new and exciting for Goldeneye? Would Nintendo be happy with James Bond fighting his way across their new console in typical MI6 style.

Trailer on YouTube for Goldeneye N64
Well you all know the answer to that, as it sits in the annals of history thanks to the talents of Rare, some very forward-thinking executives and a willingness from everyone to make a game that stands the test of time. Me being me, couldn’t resist sticking my oar in to the game, with AI, gameplay and environment stuff and generally annoying comments at every turn.

Yet my association with FPS is far from over, 34 years after starting my career I have been involved in the development of Rogue Islands, a new procedurally generated FPS that is taking the gaming world by storm. Will Rogue Islands follow its illustrious predecessors such as AvP and Goldeneye? Will I be celebrating the 20th anniversary of an iconic game in 20 years ’ time from my retirement home? Only time will tell.

I have had such a privileged career with working on titles such as AvP and Goldeneye. Each has allowed me to grow as much as the gameplay has grown over the years. That Goldeneye has stood the test of time as one of the greats is indisputable.

Goldeneye N64, I wish you a very happy 20th Birthday this week. You set the standard in FPS gaming that others still strive to follow. More than that, you let us all be James Bond! Let me raise a glass of vodka martini in your honor. The games industry was, and continues to be shaken and stirred! ”

Train2Game News: Etoo coming to London

EtooNot making it to E3 this year? Fear not: London will be getting its own indie gaming alternative, which will coincide with the major LA-based gaming convention.

Taking place at the Loading Bar in Soho from June 10 – 13, the brilliantly named, EToo will feature over 30 game developers showing off their latest projects on big screen TVs around the venue. The event is being sponsored by PlayStation, with GameStick, the forthcoming Android console from British tech company PlayJam, as a partner sponsor.

Developers set to show off new titles at the event include New Star Games (with an unseen new build of New Star Soccer!), Hello Games (Joe Danger), Mediatonic (showing forthcoming title, Foul Play), Nyamyam Games (Tengami), Big Robot (Sir You Are Being Hunted), Simon Roth (Maia), Tom Francis (Gunpoint), Tiniest Shark (Redshirt), Alistair Aitcheson (Slamjet Stadium), Curves Studios and Projector Games (Fortress Craft). Capcom will also be in attendance, running playable demos of Lost Planet 3 and the new HD version of classic platformer Duck Tales. More mainstream publishers are to be announced.

As headline sponsor, PlayStation will be in attendance, with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us playable, as well as innovative platform adventure Rain and perhaps some surprise extras. David Wilson, Head of PR for PlayStation UK said, “PlayStation is pretty excited about EToo. As well as giving attendees the chance to witness our E3 conference live, there’ll be loads of time to get hands on with a range of awesome games from the blockbuster, The Last Of Us, to the small but beautifully formed Rain”

PlayJam will be showing off its innovative Android console, GameStick, set for launch in July. Sameer R. Baroova, head of games at PlayJam commented, “What better way to celebrate the most exciting week in gaming than to spend it playing awesome games, meeting developers and gamers, and discussing all things gaming. We are  excited to show off GameStick at EToo, and are very glad to be a part of it. Cheers to Keith and Georg for putting this together.”

“This started off with me sulking on Twitter about not being able to go to E3,” says co-organiser Keith Stuart, the games commissioning editor at The Guardian. “Game developer Georg Backer replied and said we should do our own event. It probably should have ended there, but somehow it didn’t. The next thing is, Jimmy Dance, the owner of Loading Bar in Soho, was offering to host it. It was sort of like one of those Hollywood musicals – ‘hey, let’s put a show on right here’. But with less dancing.

“We’re hugely grateful to Sony and PlayJam for covering the costs of this crazy endeavour so I don’t have to explain to my wife why I’ve spent most of our life savings on hiring video equipment.”

Developers will demo their latest games throughout the day, as well as taking part in mini-talks and maybe even workshops. During the evenings, the event will also be running a live-streamed TV show from one corner of the bar, presented by Keith Stuart, Georg Backer and co-hosts including Rock Paper Shotgun writer Cara Ellison. Streamed via a dedicated YouTube channel and set to be embedded on the Guardian site, the programme will include E3 news and trailers, as well as developer interviews. Several guest stars are set to appear, including famed GoldenEye designer Martin Hollis. Popular gaming radio show OneLifeLeft will also stage a takeover event and mini-disco. More details soon!

EToo takes place from June 10-13. The daily developer event is free to attend for the public, but anyone interested needs to pre-register. The evening livestream show, taking place between 7pm and midnight every night, will cost £6 to attend. This includes a free drink. Tickets and pre-registrations are available at http://etoolondon.eventbrite.com.

For more information and regular updates, head to the official website  www.etoolondon.com and follow us on twitter @etoolondon

GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo Wii trailer

GoldenEyeEurocom has released a trailer for their upcoming Nintendo Wii remake of the classic N64 title GoldenEye 007. It’s hard to believe that the original GoldenEye 007 game was released on the N64 13 years ago all the way back in 1997. Eurocom say that this update is the GoldenEye for today.

Of course, Bond is a bit different now compared to the early 1990’s so the first major change -discounting the massive graphical upgrade- is that you’ll be playing as Daniel Craig’s Bond, rather than the Pierce Brosnan of the original GoldenEye. Daniel Craig himself provides the voice work, so GoldenEye 007 looks set to have that authentic Bond feel.

The story has also changed in some areas, in order to make GoldenEye 007 relevant to today’s world. Of course, the new updated GoldenEye 007 will give you the opportunity to use Bond’s famous gadgets, but with a modern twist. For example, the original GoldenEye 007 saw you using a watch to scan documents, while now you’ll use a mobile phone.

What the updated GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo Wii will retain is the wide variety of options as to how to complete missions. Do you go in all guns blazing? Or will you choose to be a stealthier, smarter bond?

Naturally, the new GoldenEye 007 retains the N64 versions awesome multiplayer, with classic characters like Oddjob and Jaws making an appearance. You can check out both single player and multiplayer footage from GoldenEye 007 in the trailer below.


GoldenEye 007 is scheduled for release on the Nintendo Wii on November 5th, and will be published by Activision.

So Train2Game, are you interested in the revamped GoldenEye 007? Do you think it looks impressive for a Nintendo Wii title? And what classic games would you like to see get remade with modern technology?

You can leave your thoughts about GoldenEye 007 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.