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

Train2Game News: Games Industry Jobs – 06.02.13

Train2Game news is bringing you more jobs to try and help you make that all important first step in to the gaming industry.

DEVELOPER

Job Title Programmer – Hello Games
Job Category Programming
Skills Required Gameplay, Graphics / Engine
Location Guildford, UK & Europe

 

Job Description Hello Games, the bright new star of the indie scene, is hiring. It’s pretty awesome. Here’s the “job description” – make fun games, drink tea, win awards and talk nonsense. You can have total creative freedom too, if you want.

Hello Games is a tiny team and it’s going to stay that way. It’d be nice to become the next big thing though, which is going to take at least a couple more friends. This is your chance to become a big part of a small team with big ideas.

We’re looking for anyone who likes making games, and is awesome. Specifically we’re really interested in new fresh talent to fill the role below.

Programmers
We’re looking for enthusiastic programmers interested in owning a project from start to finish. Here’s some things we think you should have:

  • Examples of some previous games and side projects.
  • Good academic record, especially Maths.
  • Experienced in C++ and 3D programming.
  • A love of playing and making games
  • An interest in bringing existing games to new platforms

About Hello Games
Hello Games wants to make games that will put a stoopid grin on your face. They have set forth on a brave journey of discovery and adventure to bring some new, funky coloured pixels to the world.

Joe Danger was their first title, a triple A game developed by the talented team of four for XBLA and PSN. Since then they have been joined by some more talented people from around the globe. Together they will all unleash the charm and creativity that has been stopping them from sleeping at night.

And it’s only just begun. Drop what you’re doing and come join them!

Application Instructions
Please send CVs and portfolios to:
jobs@hellogames.co.uk

ART

Job Title Cinematic Animator – On-site or Remote – up to 220 EURO a day – Games
Job Category Art / Animation
Skills Required Animator
Location Germany
Job Description  

Location: On-site Frankfurt or Remote from home
Salary: Up to 220 EURO a day
Job Type: Contract from 10th Feb to 20th Feb 2013
Project: 1st Person Video Game Cinematic

My client is a specialist visual outsourcer to mainstream game developers as well the broadcast and feature film industry. As a result of a video game contract they are now looking to hire a Freelance Cinematic Animator to work either on-site in their Frankfurt studio or remotely from home. It is a short contract but an awesome project and there might be chance to work on future projects for the studio.

REQUIREMENTS / RESPONSIBILITIES:
You will be need to have experience of MotionBuilder and be responsible for layout of some cutscenes (prior to mocap). The cutscenes are first-person and the task is to block out the scenes and roughly animate the camera (which is supposed to be the head of the player).

A competitive day rate is on offer and the potential for work on other projects.

To ensure a speedy application please email your up to date CV in MS WORD FORMAT and Show Reel to officemanager@opmjobs.com or call me Jon direct on +44 (0) 1206 214425 if you have any queries.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

DESIGN

Game Designer

London

11 Month Contract

Start ASAP

£200 to £250 per day
STR are working closely with an award winning studio who are leading the way with interactive entertainment. Following this success and due to new exciting projects an excellent opportunity has arisen for an experienced Games Designer to join their team starting as soon as possible within a long term contract.
Game Designers are expected to bring their creative skills to bear in a team environment to delight customers and raise the quality of the features and products they are working on. Ideally we are looking for experience across multiple platforms and Apps, able to translate high level vision into quality designs and prototypes. Previous work with sports apps is an advantage. You must be comfortable working within a fast paced, busy team who rapidly produce prototypes and deliver high quality work as expected.

You will be focused on creating and implementing detailed interactive design mechanics that are fun and innovative and deliver highly engaging consumer experiences.

Responsibilities will also require collaboration creatively with external partners, brands and content providers
Key skills and experience required:

Proven ability to design detailed mechanics from concept and prototype to production
To develop workable product designs from high level creative direction
To work as part of a team, with artists and programmers, to fine tune interactive mechanics
A deep understanding of production pipelines and experience with in-development tool-sets
Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
High attention to detail
Knowledge of scripting or programming languages such as LUA, Kismet or XML and visualisation packages such as Visio or In Design
Passion for sports and interactive entertainment

On offer is a long term contract starting ASAP, full time Monday to Friday based on-site with our clients studios in London, easily commutable from many surrounding areas.

To apply please send your CV and Portfolio to cjacques@strgroup.co.uk or call Charlene Jacques on 02392 322362

QA

Job Title Embedded Tester
Job Category QA / Localisation
Skills Required QA Tester
Location Guildford
Job Description This is an excellent opportunity for a future high flying individual to join the 22cans team. We are seeking an embedded tester to work closely with our Development team on the production of Godus.

Key accountabilities
-Testing of games features in full partnership with the development team.
-Working closely with design and code to highlight weaknesses and areas for improvement during feature testing.
-Ensure the build remains stable, reporting of issues by verification testing and automated smoke testing.
– Meticulous logging and organisation of bugs .
– Generation of multiple test and bug reports.

Success Criteria
At least 1 game shipped in a similar role

Understanding of the software development process

Good understanding of mobile devices

Technical understanding of game features

Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills

Self-starter

Desired
Previous experience in QA is an advantage

Familiar with bug tracking software

Attitude and desire ‘to go far’ in the games industry

You can apply here.

Train2Game News: “Don’t expect to sit around.” after completing production of your first game

Finishing development of your very first video game may be an incredibly satisfying experience, but don’t expect that to bring instant success or to be the end of your work either.

That’s one of key themes to come out of a ‘Directions to take after your first game’ session at Develop Conference 2012.

“You build it, you’re happy with it, and you think you’ve crossed the finish line.” said Sean Murray of Hello Games, creators of Joe Danger, before going on to add that feedback from players about almost everything – including in the case of Joe Danger , custom soundtracks not working propely – will keep you busy.

Supermono’s Tak Fung agreed, stating its important for indie developers to keep working even after the game has shipped.

“Don’t expect it to be glorious Vegas gambling.” he said, pointing out the importance of getting knowledge of your game out there through PR and marketing. “Don’t expect to sit around.” he added.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news from Develop Conference.

What are your thoughts on the advice from the indie developers on what do you after your first game? Have you planned that far ahead?

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

Always look on the bright side of life

One publisher thought he'd be better as a monkey...

You’re no doubt studying the Train2Game Games Designer, Games Developer or Games & Animator course because you have a creative vision. You have an idea for an awesome game that you want to develop, publish and show the world.

It might be difficult to ‘sell’ your idea to a publisher, but that hasn’t stopped developers in the past, including those of Bejeweled – one of the most popular games of all time. The casual title has sold over 50 million copies since it was launched by PopCap ten years ago. The game has won countless awards and is available on PCs, iPhones and Facebook with 200 million games being played everyday.

However, things weren’t always so rosy as PopCap’s Dave Bishop told an audience at The Develop Conference yesterday.  The industry veteran revealed that when the first build of the game was completed in 2000, a variety of publishers turned down the opportunity to buy Bejeweled for just $60,000. Given the success of the title in the decade since then, a few of them probably that regret that decision!

Bejeweled isn’t the only game that had trouble finding a publisher: Hello Games programmer Sean Murray also spoke at Develop yesterday and revealed that they struggled to find a publisher for Joe Danger. The game was eventually released through the PlayStation network selling 50,000 copies in its first week and was well received by critics. It therefore seems reasonable that Murray extracted some revenge on these unnamed publishers, and some of the reasons they had for declining Joe Danger had the Develop attendees laughing:

“Name me one popular game with motorbikes?”

”Collecting giant coins feels unrealistic to me”

”I can see this working as a Facebook app”

”We want games that are less about fun right now”

”We love the theme, but with a different game”

”We believe the iPhone will be largely unsupported”

”Can Joe be a monkey? We like Monkeys”

They verge on the ridiculous don’t they? A popular game with motorbikes, how about Road Rash or Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost & Damned!? Collecting giant coins seems to have worked for Mario over the years and whoever thought games weren’t supposed to be fun eh?

So, what message can Train2Game students take from the ballads of Bejeweled and Joe Danger?  Well first of all it’s that you should never give up, as Bejeweled shows that even one of the most successful games of all time struggled to begin with. Secondly, these games show that you can’t always rely on a publisher to give you the support you think your game deserves. However, thanks to the wonders of the internet it’s now easier than ever to get your independent production out there with Steam, the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live all providing outlets for indie developers.

So, what do you think about the comments made at Develop yesterday? Do you think you’ll try to rely on a publisher, or will you take the self publishing route? As usual, leave your comments here or on the Train2Game forum.