Train2Game News Hogwarts Mystery out now

Jam City, a Los Angeles based mobile games studio, announced today that the new mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available to download now on the App Store and Google Play.

Developed by Jam City in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is the first mobile game where players create their own character and experience life as a Hogwarts student. The game will launch under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Portkey Games, a label dedicated to creating new mobile and videogame experiences that place the player at the center of their own adventure, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s original stories.

“There are so few moments where a mobile entertainment company has the chance to truly bring magic into the world and we’ve been thrilled by the amazing response our game has already received from Harry Potter fans everywhere,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. “We at Jam City have been working hard to ensure that any aspiring witch or wizard can enter Hogwarts through their smartphones and tablets and begin their magical journeys.”

The story of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is set in the 1980s. In the game, players will progress as a student through Hogwarts, joining one of its four houses. Players will be able to create and upgrade personalized characters using an avatar customization system, learn an arsenal of magical skills, and form relationships with other students. They will also be able to master everything from crafting potions under Snape’s critical eye, to Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall. Along with interactive spellcasting, the game features an encounter system where narrative choices impact parts of the story.

“Being involved in the making of the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile game will give great pleasure to my grandchildren,” said Dame Maggie Smith, voice of Professor McGonagall in the game.

Players will also be introduced to some original game characters like Penny, a popular Hufflepuff potions expert, Tulip, a rebellious Ravenclaw prankster, and Merula, a Slytherin with a dark past. As players unravel the Hogwarts mystery, they will explore familiar locations like Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is free to play and is available NOW on mobile devices via the App Store and Google Play. For more details on Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, and to connect with other Harry Potter fans, visit www.facebook.com/HPHogwartsMystery/ www.twitter.com/HogwartsMystery , and for more information visit www.HarryPotterHogwartsMystery.com/ .

Train2Game News You’re a wizard!

Niantic, Inc. and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced the development of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™, an augmented reality (AR) mobile game inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. 
Published by Niantic and co-developed by Niantic and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, under the Portkey Games label, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ will use state-of-the-art augmented reality mobile technology to put magic in the hands of aspiring wizards and witches worldwide.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ will reveal that magic is all around us, and allow players to be a part of Harry Potter’s rich world, through Niantic’s AR + real-world mobile game platform and the franchise expertise of WB Games San Francisco’s development and publishing team. By exploring real-world neighborhoods and cities across the globe, players will go on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover mysterious artifacts, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ is part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Portkey Games, a new games label dedicated to creating video game and mobile experiences inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

 “At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc. “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”

 “With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.”

Additional details for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ will be announced in 2018.

To stay up to date on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™, please visit www.harrypotterwizardsunite.com and sign-up to receive the latest information and follow the game on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HPWizardsUnite/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/HPWizardsUnite

Train2Game News Train2Game student creating Harry Potter character

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Murthy Upadhyayula has designed his own Dobby the House Elf for his wife.

Former student from India who studied the Art and Animation course with Train2Game is working on his portfolio and creating his favourite characters to show off his work.

Murthy enjoyed the course and said it gave him a base of knowledge to build upon.  He studied alongside both of his brothers and they have created games together. His brother Srinath is now studying at a prestigious university in the US. Murthy is currently working in customer services but gaming is still his dream.

Murthy is working on the VFX Model of Dobby the House Elf from the Harry Potter films,  he’s also creating other pieces for a demo reel. Murthy’s dream is to work in the games industry and he says a strong portfolio is essential in getting recognised.

He told Train2Game that he created the character as it is a favourite of his and his wife told him to! When we asked if he wanted his own house elf, he said ‘A that is really handy but unethical. I’d rather have a house-elf as a friend.’ Which we agree with and we promised EA and JK Rowling about his project.

Murthy Upadhyayula , Train2Game student: ‘My Name is Murthy Upadhyayula (Rambo 85 on the forums). I am from India, currently living in Luton. I am studying the art and animation course.’

‘The course is quite good for beginners trying to understand how the game pipleline works. It gives students a solid foundation which they can use to build upon. I have discontinued the course half-way through. But it must be noted that I had to do it because of reasons beyond my control. After a long gap, I am now back into the scheme of things, and somewhere down the line I may try and finish the course if the opportunity presents itself.’

‘The knowledge I gained from the first two sections of the course proved to be very useful in some of my personal projects as well as making an android games with my brothers titled “Chimping”.’

‘Both my Bros (Bhanu and Srinath) had signed up for the developer course. Srinath was forced to leave the country mid-way through his course as his Visa expired, and he didn’t have enough investment to apply for a Business Visa which was the only option given to him at the time. Thankfully, he got accepted in a prestigious university in United States (Texas), and his experience with Train2Game had played a big part in it. Bhanu continues to study at his own pace.’

‘For the past couple of months I have been working on a VFX model, Dobby from the Harry Potter films. I am also doing some motion graphics, and character animations, all to be compiled into a demo reel.’

‘I simply wanted to create a VFX character that would fit well into modern games as well as film and TV. I thought it is best to show as many skills as I can in one project rather than creating separate portfolios for Games and Film/TV. This way, I can diversify my portfolio.’

‘When I said I was going to create an elf-like character, my wife suggested Dobby as its one of her favourite characters. I jumped on the idea, as I too love the character in the books and in the movies. Besides, anyone who’s married knows that you never say no to your missus.’

‘I have learnt a great deal with this one project. I have been able touch several aspects of the pipeline: sculpting, re-topologising, texturing, shading, compositing, rigging, posing, storytelling, and animation.  I have also researched and came across some useful shortcuts that speed up the creation workflow.’

‘A strong portfolio is the single most important thing according to many of the experts in the industry. I have never heard anyone saying they got a job because a great reading CV. As an artist you are judged based on your portfolio and if you have one that stands out, nothing else really matters.’

‘I would love a full-time position at a games studio. I have tried and failed a lot in the past couple of years, but I am looking forward to another push this year, and hopefully someone notices my latest demo reel and offers me a position. Fingers crossed. I will be updating the website with Dobby images and latest demo reel once it’s ready.’

You will find some of Murthy’s work at http://murthy85.wix.com/artbymurthy

For more information contact mark@train2game.com

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Train2Game students are probably sick of hearing this…Zumba Fitness No.1 again

 

Train2Game students must be waiting for the summer lull to end,  but in the meantime Zumba Fitness continues to the dominate the UK charts with a sixth consecutive No.1. The dance game has spent a total of nine weeks in the top spot.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel enters at No.2, despite a plethora of negative reviews, while poor ratings also have no effect on Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 which rises from No.7 to No. 3 in its second week in the charts.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean moves up one to No.4, switching places with Call of Duty: Black Ops which drops to No.5. in its 35th week on sale. The Train2Game blog previously reported that Black Ops was the top selling game of last year, and more than six months on its still going strong.

Price cuts see Dungeon Siege III re-enter the top ten at No.6, while Dirt 3 drops  four spots to No.7. Movie tie-in Cars 2 debuts at No.8, FIFA 11 re-enters the top ten at No.8, while LEGO Star Wars III: The  Clone Wars drops to No.10.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon and former No.1 – as reported by the Train2Game blog – Brink, both leave the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 23rd July 2011 is therefore as follows:

  1. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
  2. Call of Juarez: The Cartel (Ubisoft)
  3. Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (EA)
  4. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
  6. Dungeon Siege III (Square Enix)
  7.  Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
  8. Cars 2 (Disney)
  9. FIFA 11 (EA)
  10. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (LucasArts)

There are no major releases this week.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on this week’s chart? What does the fact games with low review scores are doing so well?

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

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