Train2Game News: Wolfenstein 3D celebrates 20th anniversary with free browser version and director’s commentary

Train2Game students will no doubt know about the legacy Wolfenstein 3D,  the id Software title that arguably helped kick-start the popularity of PC first person shooters in the early 1990s.

Of course, the FPS is now one of the most popular genre’s in gaming, but Train2Game students can take a look at Wolfenstein 3D, perhaps for the first time, thanks to Id Software and Bethesda releasing a free-to-play browser version of the game to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Visit http://wolfenstein.bethsoft.com/ to play the classic FPS using your browser.

You can also get a fascinating insight into development of Wolfenstein 3D in a director’s commentary from lead programmer John Carmack as he discusses the difficulty of making a game in 3D in the early 90s. Watch it below, here on The Train2Game Blog.

There’s more from id Software here on The Train2Game Blog, including our interview with Creative Director Tim Willits.

Do you have fond memories of Wolfenstein 3D? Or have you not experienced it before? Either way, will you be giving the browser version a go?

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

Train2Game news: Skyrim mod tools coming next month

Train2Game students will get their hands on official modding tools for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from next month.  Bethesda’s Creation Kit contains the tools used to develop Skyrim itself and will be available to download for free.

In a post on the Bethesda Blog, the studio also say  they’ll be producing a Wiki and videos to help aspiring Skyrim modders get started.  The Elder Scrolls developer also revealed that they’re going to be working closely with Valve to integrate Steam Workshop into the creation kit.

Using the Workshop, you’ll have free user content with the push of a button. The Creation Kit will bundle your mod and upload it to the Workshop, where everyone can browse, rate, and flag mods for download.” read the Skyrim mod tools post.

“You’ll be able to do this from any web device, including your smartphone. Like a live Netflix queue, when you fire up Skyrim, mods you flagged will be automatically downloaded and installed. Everyone here is really excited about the opportunities and possibilities this opens up for our entire community.” added Bethesda.

Not only is modding an excellent way for those on Train2Game courses to practice their skills, but it can also provide that extra experience needed to get into the games industry.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” Valve’s Chet Faliszek previously told the Train2Game blog on the subject of modding.

“Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.”

Faliszek’s comments echo those of id Software Creative Director Tim Willits, who as someone that started their career as a modder, also believes it’s a good way to get into the industry.

“Modding is a great way to get into the industry. Most of the key guys at ID come from the mod community – myself, Matt Hooper, Robert Duffy, Jan Paul Van Waveren – and we have numbers of other guys” Willits told the Train2Game blog in an extensive interview.

“What I suggest to people who want to get in the industry is find their favourite engine – Unreal, Source, it doesn’t matter, id tech – find whatever engine they like, what games they like to play, get the mod tools and make a mod. And make sure they complete it!”

“Lots of times we have people who send resumes’ in with 20 half completed mods; we don’t want that, we want a handful of one’s that are actually done, and that’s really important” said the RAGE Creative Director.

So Train2Game, will you be using the Skyrim Creation Kit? How positive is it that Bethesda are releasing it for free? Have you tried modding before?

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

Train2Game news: Game developers need to make new IP a franchise from the start say id Software

Train2Game students who go onto work on Triple-A titles will need to be ready to develop whole game franchises. At least that’s the case if id Software Creative Director Tim Willits.

“You need to make a franchise, especially for us. We’re doing everything we can to turn it into a franchise, “please let it sell so we can make another one!” he told GamesIndustry.biz.

And Willits said they needed to make sure the story was deep enough to do this from the start.

“Even from the beginning when we talked about the story and the setting, we said we need to make it rich, we need to have deep environment,”

“We have the comic books that we’ve used to support the game, we have the book we use to support the game, the iPhone – heck, the whole iPhone game was about Bash TV, which is only a ten minute experience in the overall game.” said id Software Creative Director.

He suggests that the RAGE franchise could even expand to include mobile and social games.

“So we definitely, from the get go, planned to make this a much bigger franchise, a much richer world, that allows us to have different games, and we can make more mobile games, heck, we could make a social game with Rage if we wanted to. And hopefully we can make a Rage 2. Hopefully.”

In an his in-depth interview with GI.biz, Willits handed out advice to those looking to get into the games industry: make sure you create things and finish them.

“If you want to make levels, make levels in you spare time, all the time. If you want to be an artist you always have to be drawing. If you want to be a programmer you need to make small apps. You have to have a passion to do it for free if you ever want to really get paid for it.” he said.

It’s very similar to the advice Willits gave Train2Game students about how to get into the games industry in an interview with the Train2Game blog last month.

Interested Train2Game students will be able to use RAGE’s mod tools following its release next month.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Willits comments? Does new IP need to be considered a franchise from its inception? Or can games still be one offs?

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

[Source: GI.biz]

Train2Game news: Single player and MMO game design will converge says id Software Creative Director Tim Willits

 

Train2Game Game Designers will build games in which MMO elements form part of the single player narrative.

At least that’ll be the case if the predictions of id Software’s Creative Director Tim Willits come true. In an interview with MCV, he discussed the future of narrative in games and believes social aspects will become an integral part.

“Storytelling is key in open world games, and then just the sheer variety of things you can do.” He told the industry publication.

“We have games like Skyrim, where there’s just SO much you can do: you can develop your character the way you want, you can develop the game the way you want and play it the way you want, and that’s a great trend I hope will continue to grow”

“But it’s the social aspect of games which is hugely important” Willits stated.

“In the future, I believe we will have many more games where the choices that you make in your single player game will affect games that other people play. Yes, we have massively multiplayer games now, but they’re so connected and tied-in and you’ll have a much more social component to many bigger games.”

And when asked if single player and multiplayer MMOs could converge over time, the RAGE Creative Director said he believed they would.”

“Yes. Just think of Fallout” he said. “If you went off to do something and you’re playing through and you made one faction more powerful.”

“Maybe, when your buddy gets there that faction still is. That’d just be cool! If things that you did in your game affected the universe, where you’re not necessarily directly competing, but different people’s outcomes are affected by what you do.”

The Train2Game blog was fortunate enough to speak to Tim Willits at Gamescom last month, and in an in-depth interview he discussed how id Software developed the different aspects of RAGE.

Willits also revealed that he believes modding is an excellent way for Train2Game students to get into the games industry. Train2Game students would therefore be wise to get their hands on the RAGE SDK which as reported by the Train2Game blog will be available following the games release!

Do you agree with Willits? Will single player games include MMO elements? Is it something that you’d like to see? And how will it impact on game design?

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

[Source: MCV]

Train2Game at Gamescom: Interview with RAGE Creative Director Tim Willits

 

Train2Game  attended Gamescom from 17th August to 21st August.  During our time in Cologne we were fortunate enough to get hands on time with RAGE and speak to Creative Director Tim Willits.  

During our interview he discussed the ideas, design and development process behind RAGE. Willits also reveals how he got into the industry through modding, and suggests Train2Game students should do the same if they want to follow in his footsteps.

Read the interview with RAGE Creative Director Tim Willits below, or listen to it on via Train2Game Radio.

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

Train2Game news: id Software support Blizzard’s controversial ‘always on’ DRM

 

Train2Game students, as game developers of the future, may already be thinking about how they can prevent their games from being pirated.

There are various different forms of DRM in PC gaming, with Steam perhaps being used the most by PC Gamers. Blizzard have their own DRM, which has proved controversial in that in order to play their upcoming Diablo III, the player will have to be connected to the internet the whole time.

The idea has caused controversy, because it means if your internet connection flickers for just a second, you’re dropped from the game. Any progress made since the last time a game save is made will be lost.

The DRM also means playing PC games on the move using a laptop goes somewhat out the window. It’s therefore something that may annoy Train2Game students as gamers.

However, while gamers may find the ‘always on’ DRM controversial, it seems to have won over game developers.  Indeed, id Software Creative Director Tim Willits believes it’s the best way forward.

“Diablo III will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected” Willits told Eurogamer at QuakeCon.

“If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I’m all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome,”

It isn’t the only comment the id Software Creative Director made at QuakeCon that could be seen as controversial. Indeed, the Train2Game blog reported that he said the FPS is the ‘best genre’

“In the end, it’s better for everybody,” Willets continued on the subject of the DRM, suggesting it has benefits.

“Imagine picking up a game and it’s automatically updated. Or there’s something new you didn’t know about, and you didn’t have to click away. It’s all automatically there.  I’m a big proponent of always connected. I’m always connected. Our fans are always connected.”

“There will be a few people who will resent the fact you have to be online to play a single-player game. But it’ll change.” he concluded.

So Train2Game, do you think ‘always on’ DRM is the way forward? Or does it come across as too restricting to regular gamers? Are internet connections reliable enough for it to work?

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

[Source: Eurogamer via Industry Gamers]

Train2Game news: FPS is the ‘best’ genre say id Software

 

Many Train2Game students will be very familiar with Id Software; the game developer is arguably the father of the first person shooter with the likes of Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake and soon, RAGE, coming from the studio.

However, despite the amount of competition in an FPS market – with Call of Duty currently the most successful – Id Software still believe the genre still has a massive future.

“The FPS I feel is the very best genre because it places you, the game player into the experience like no other type of genre does.” creative director Tim Willits told Quakecon.

The comments from Id software echo those made by Irrational Games Ken Levine earlier this, as previously reported by the Train2Game blog.

“It’s one less barrier to the experience,” The Bioshock  creatorsaid on the subject of making games immersive through a first person view.

“It’s a strange thing to be in someone else’s shoes. It’s something we do very naturally as children, but it’s something that is much more difficult for adults. I think that games give us enough of a nudge in the right direction to have that childhood experience of play.”

While RAGE will be played from a first person perspective, Id Software’s title will feature driving and RPG elements, and Willits believes this is a positive step for the games industry.

“Even the word genre is a bit too constricting and I think that people should remove labels from games and let games just be games.” He said.

“I’ve always felt that the future is very bright for first person shooters. We have so many fans and there are so many different directions it could take that I believe that in itself, it’ll be around for years and that id software will be around for years too.” Willets added.

RAGE will be helped along by the fact that graphically, the games Art & Animation looks very good indeed, and as reported by the Train2Game blog this week, id Software believe that “graphics will always matter.”

RAGE could provide a great opportunity for Train2Game students, given that modding tools will be available for the PC version.

So Train2Game, do you think the FPS is the ‘best’ genre? Or is genre becoming an obsolete word?

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

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game news: “Graphics will always matter” say Id Software

Train2Game students will have seen some huge improvements in video game Art & Animation over the last decade, with the majority of Triple A games released now featuring excellent graphics.

Id software, developers of the upcoming RAGE – which as reported by the Train2Game blog will come with modding tools – believe that despite the improvements in graphics, games with better graphics than their rivals will always have an edge.

“Coming from id – and this is Carmack’s quote – graphics will always matter. And I agree with that 100 percent.”  Id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead told VG247.

“I think that there’s a point where you get diminishing returns, obviously. You approach reality until the point that you get there. And then, once you get there – which, we never will – but the curve gets so close that the differences are imperceptible to most consumers.”

And Hollenshead believes the graphics and Art & Animation war is far from over, with more improvements to come in future.

“I don’t think we’re anywhere near there yet. We’re still making graphical trade-offs and working within system constraints. If you gave us twice the horsepower, I guarantee we’d soak up every single bit of it.

“So I don’t think we’re actually getting close to that yet. If every game you could buy was running with every single feature you could have turned on at 120 hertz, then I might say, “It’s pretty much all the same.” But it’s not. I mean, in RAGE, we decided to run it at 60 hertz and put all our elbow grease behind that when most of our competition is running at 30 hertz. And I think it’s a difference-maker.”

As reported by the Train2Game blog, ID Software said their fans ‘sometimes drive them nuts’ with their demands. With their ideas about graphics and Art & Animation in future, how the game looks shouldn’t be a complaint

So Train2Game, will graphics always give games an edge? Or can Game Design and gameplay triumph over Art & Animation?

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

[Source: VG247]

Train2Game student lesson for the future? id Software’s fans ‘sometimes drive them nuts’

 

All Train2Game students are gamers, and they’ll all have different ideas about various games with some even voicing opinions on the Train2Game forum.

Of course, not all comments about games are positive with gamers demanding various things that for one reason or another won’t be in a particular game.

The upcoming RAGE from ID Software contains shooting, driving and RPG elements, but creative director Tim Willits believes that fans of the game will still find problems with it, things that they believe should be added.

“The worst thing is that everyone wants the kitchen sink and everything else too,” he told Xbox World 360 Magazine.

“For Rage, we’re doing all these things and yet people are like ‘Well I can’t blow up these boxes’, and I’m like ‘Are you serious? We have driving, racing and all these cool characters!’ ‘But in this other game I can blow up boxes’, and I’m like, ‘This other game doesn’t have any racing in it!’

“It’s crazy. Fans: I love them but sometimes they drive us nuts!” he concluded.

Train2Game students probably have criticised certain games, and they may even find fans demanding things from their own games in future!

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, RAGE will be released with mod tools potentially allowing the community to add the things they believe should be in the game.

As Train2Game students will know, modding is also a great potential path to a full-time role in the games industry.

Rage is scheduled for release on October 7th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

So Train2Game, how important is fan input into game development? Would you accept it for your games?

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

[Source: CVG]

One for the Train2Game modders: id Software to release RAGE SDK

RAGEAs the Train2Game blog reported last week, the popular Unreal Development kit passed 800,000 downloads. And soon a new set of modding tools will be available for Train2Game students to practice their skills with in the form of the Rage SDK.

Rage is the new FPS from ID Software that’s due for release later this year, and the studios  founder John Carmack’s ‘sense of sharing’ is the main reason for SDK’s inclusion.

John is still very active in open source,” id Software creative director and Rage developer Tim Willits told Gamasutra.

“We’re the only ones that release our source now to such an extensive level, and the PC version [of Rage] will have the SDK. All that stuff will be available.

“The spirit of [Carmack’s] sense of sharing and working with the community, that’s still pretty intact. I wouldn’t stress too much about it.”

id Software are the developers behind the classic Wolfenstein, Quake, and Doom series of games that Train2Game students will no doubt be familiar with.

Other prominent PC game modding tools include Valve’s Source SDK – which is as the Train2Game blog reported is being made ‘less painful’ to use – while a Starcraft II also provides modding tools. The Train2Game blog previously revealed that one Starcraft II modders work was so impressive; it brought about attention from game development studios.

Modding is certainly a way for Train2Game students to not only gain valuable experience building games, but it could potentially get their work noticed. In an interview with the Train2Game blog, Red Faction: Armageddon Lead Level Designer also stresses the importance of modding.

So Train2Game, would you want to work with the Rage SDK? What do you expect of the game? Are you looking forward to id Software’s next release?

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

[Source: Develop]