Train2Game News Microsoft at E3

MicrosoftMonday at the Xbox E3 2016 Briefing, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new family of Xbox One devices, a host of new Xbox Live features and the biggest lineup of games in Xbox history. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer underscored the Xbox team’s commitment to building a future of gaming beyond console generations and inviting gamers to play without boundaries.

Xbox is working to bring Xbox Live to all devices and networks — PC, console, virtual reality and mobile — to create a unified experience where all gamers are welcomed, respected and supported. The new Xbox Play Anywhere program lets gamers buy a game once and play it on both their Windows 10 PC and Xbox One console with shared progress, game saves and achievements. Every new Microsoft Studios title shown at the Xbox E3 2016 Briefing will support Xbox Play Anywhere, with more titles on the way.

“Gamers have never had more choice in how and where they play,” Spencer said. “We are bringing our biggest games lineup ever to Xbox One and Windows 10, uniting gamers across networks on Xbox Live and expanding the Xbox One family of devices with the addition of Xbox One S and “Project Scorpio” to give gamers more choice in how and where they play. There’s never been a better time to be an Xbox gamer.”

Introducing the Xbox One family of devices

The new lineup of Xbox One hardware and accessories delivers unprecedented choice and level of personalization for gamers. All Xbox One devices will play current and future Xbox One games as well as titles in the Xbox One Backward Compatibility program, and all accessories will work across every console in the Xbox One family as well.

Xbox One S. Debuting a sleek new design and “robot white” color, the new Xbox One S is the smallest and most compact Xbox ever. The 40 percent smaller console has an internal power supply and supports 4K Ultra HD for Blu-ray movies and content streamed from partners like Netflix and Amazon Video. High Dynamic Range (HDR) support for video and gaming delivers richer, more luminous colors in games like “Gears of War 4.” 1 Available for preorder beginning today and in stores starting August 2016:500GB Xbox One S is $299/249 pounds/299 euros
1TB Xbox One S is $349/299 pounds/349 euros
Limited launch edition 2TB Xbox One S will be available in select markets for $399/349 pounds/399 euros

“Project Scorpio.” Coming holiday 2017, “Project Scorpio” will be the most powerful console ever created, with 6 teraflops of GPU delivering a premier console gaming experience including true 4K gaming and high-fidelity virtual reality. “Project Scorpio” will join the Xbox One family and coexist alongside Xbox One and Xbox One S and all of your Xbox One games and accessories are compatible.

New Xbox Wireless Controller. We’ve enhanced comfort with a textured grip and introduced a sleek, streamlined design in white. Added Bluetooth radio gives you easy wireless connection to your Windows 10 PCs and tablets.2 The new Xbox Wireless Controller will be available worldwide starting in August for $59.99/49.99 pounds/59.99 euros.

Xbox Design Lab. Now fans can create their own official, one-of-a-kind Xbox Wireless Controllers with more than 8 million color variations to customize the controller body, D-pad, thumbsticks, ABXY buttons and more. Each controller is handmade to order and shipped directly to fans. Xbox Design Lab is open for orders now in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for $79.99 through  http://www.xbox.com/xboxdesignlab . Laser engraving is also available for an additional $9.99.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller – “Gears of War 4” Limited Edition. A pro-level controller designed in collaboration with The Coalition, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller – “Gears of War 4” Limited Edition features laser-etched claw marks and a battle-weathered design, telling the survival story of a confrontation with the Swarm. Available in very limited quantities in early October for $199.99/199.99 euros/159.99 pounds with pre-orders starting the week of June 13 at select retailers.

Uniting gamers through Xbox Live

The goal of Xbox Live is to cultivate a safe, fun and reliable online community, where all types of gamers are welcome, respected and supported. Team Xbox announced a slew of new features to break down barriers between gamers playing on different devices and make gaming more accessible for all.

Clubs on Xbox Live. A new way to connect with gamers and create private communities with people who have similar play styles, personal interests and values.

Looking for Group on Xbox Live. Like a “want ad” for multiplayer, Looking for Group on Xbox Live is the easiest way to seek out players who are available — and qualified — to jump into your multiplayer match right now.

Arena on Xbox Live. A new online tournaments platform designed for everyone, from novice to aspiring pro, Arena on Xbox Live brings competitive gaming to Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. Sign up for tournaments directly through the Xbox UI or the Xbox app and play for prizes and bragging rights.

Cross-play. Gamers on Xbox One and Windows 10 can now play select multiplayer games together. “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Horizon 3,” “Sea of Thieves” and “Scalebound” all support cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and now “Minecraft” players on iOS, Android, Windows 10 phone and Windows 10 devices can all join together in cross-device multiplayer fun.

Cortana on Xbox One. We’re bringing the popular digital assistant Cortana to Xbox One, featuring familiar voice commands available on Windows 10 devices and new gaming-specific scenarios for Xbox One. Cortana will initially launch on Xbox One in the U.S. and U.K. with additional markets coming soon after.

PC games (Win32) in Xbox Live. With the Xbox update coming this summer you’ll see the top PC games on Xbox Live, with more added every month. Use the Xbox app to see what PC games your friends are playing, view game clips and upload your own, and message and voice chat with friends across games.

Language Region Independence. Based on overwhelming fan feedback, we’re enabling Language Region Independence to give gamers even more control over their Xbox experience and how they engage with their Xbox One. Language Region Independence gives gamers the freedom to choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of their location.

Biggest lineup comes to Xbox One and Windows 10

Xbox premiered a wide range of games launching in 2016 and beyond for Xbox One and Windows 10, including a mix of exclusives, blockbusters and independent games through the ID@Xbox program.

“ARK: SURVIVAL EVOLVED” (FIRST ON XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10). The wildly popular indie game from Studio Wildcard has sold over 1 million copies on Xbox One via Game Preview, and is soon coming to Windows 10. Stranded naked, freezing and starving on a mysterious island, you must hunt, harvest, craft items, grow crops and build shelters to survive. Learn how to tame, train, breed and ride dinosaurs and primitive creatures living on the ARK as you forge new paths across the beautiful open world in this large-scale survival game. Team up with hundreds of players online, play split-screen locally or brave the island on your own.

“BATTLEFIELD 1” (ELECTRONIC ARTS). Featuring some of the largest, most dynamic battles in FPS history, experience the dawn of all-out war across war-torn France, in the sand dunes of the Arabian Desert, and in the skies over London — only in “Battlefield 1.” Join in massive 64-player battles and experience unexpected Only in Battlefield moments during a time where the old world was destroyed, giving way to the new one. Play it first, exclusively on Xbox One with EA Access beginning Oct. 13. Available worldwide on Xbox One and Windows PC on Oct. 21, 2016.

“DEAD RISING 4” (WORLD PREMIERE). Developed by Capcom Vancouver, “Dead Rising 4” marks the return of photojournalist Frank West in an all-new chapter of one of the most popular zombie game franchises of all time. With an unmatched level of weapon and character customization, ambitious new features including new zombie classes and EXO Suits, “Dead Rising 4” delivers a heart-pounding experience as players explore, scavenge and fight to survive in an epic open-world sandbox. Available Holiday 2016 on Xbox One and Windows 10.

“FINAL FANTASY XV” (SQUARE ENIX). “FINAL FANTASY XV” is the highly anticipated action RPG and 15th mainline entry in the iconic “FINAL FANTASY” franchise. Set in an enthralling world where fantasy meets reality, players will join Crown Prince Noctis and his comrades on an epic journey of brotherhood, love and despair as they unravel Noctis’ destiny and take up arms against the nefarious Niflheim empire. With a captivating cast of characters, breathtaking visuals, open world exploration and action-packed real time combat, “FINAL FANTASY XV” is the ultimate “FINAL FANTASY” experience for fans and newcomers to the series. Available worldwide for Xbox One on Sept. 30, 2016.

“FORZA HORIZON 3” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE — WORLD PREMIERE). The best-selling racing franchise returns with “Forza Horizon 3.” Race and explore the rugged wonder of Australia with your friends in over 350 of the world’s greatest cars as you win millions of new fans and build the world’s greatest automotive festival. As the new boss of the Horizon Festival, you can modify every aspect of race events, and how you get to the finish is up to you. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on Sept. 27, 2016.

“GEARS OF WAR 4” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). A new saga begins for one of the most acclaimed video game franchises in history. After narrowly escaping an attack on their village, JD Fenix and his friends Kait and Del must rescue the ones they love and discover the source of a monstrous new enemy. “Gears of War 4” returns the franchise to the dark tone and intensity of the original and includes split-screen and online co-op, the next generation of the five-player favorite, Horde Mode, 60 frames-per-second Versus multiplayer, and stunning visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on Oct. 11, 2016.

“GWENT” (WORLD PREMIERE OF CLOSED BETA ON XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10). “Gwent,”the hit card game from CD PROJEKT RED’s game of the year — “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” — is now its own standalone collectable card game. Inspired by player feedback, with new rules and mechanics, “Gwent” puts players and their style of play, and not only their cards, in the center of the action. In “Gwent,” You are the Wild Card.

“HALO WARS 2” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). The best-selling console real-time strategy (RTS) of all time is back! Developed in partnership by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly, “Halo Wars 2” is an action-packed RTS on the biggest Halo battlefield ever. Get ready to lead armies of Spartans and other Halo fighting forces like Warthogs, Scorpions and exciting new units in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy, The Banished. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on Feb. 21, 2017.

“INSIDE” (FIRST ON XBOX ONE). Developed by Playdead, “INSIDE” is the long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s groundbreaking digital hit “Limbo.” Featuring Playdead’s trademark dark art, emotion and game craft, this adventure puzzler ships June 29, 2016, and is available for pre-order now. To celebrate the launch, “Limbo” will be free to all Xbox players from June 13‒20.

“MINECRAFT” (REALMS AND ADD-ONS). Mojang and Microsoft showcased cross-device multiplayer between iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR and Windows 10 devices, made possible with Monday’s launch of the “Friendly Update” for “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition” Beta and “Minecraft: Pocket Edition.” With Xbox Live and the “Minecraft Realms” service, Windows 10 and mobile Minecraft players can host their own multiplayer worlds on private, cloud-based servers and play with friends 24/7, even when the original world creator is offline. Starting today, players with Xbox Live accounts can try “Minecraft” Realms on mobile and Windows 10 free for one month through the “Minecraft” app. The team also announced new game add-ons coming this fall that will let players modify their in-game worlds to customize key game elements and create their own maps and minigames.

“RECORE” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). From legendary video game creator Keiji Inafune and Armature Studio LLC, the team behind the “Metroid Prime” series, comes “ReCore,” an action-adventure game masterfully crafted for the modern generation. Play as Joule, one of the last remaining humans, and forge friendships with courageous robot companions to lead them on an epic adventure through a mysterious, dynamic world. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title starting Sept. 13, 2016.

“SEA OF THIEVES” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). Developed by Rare, the legendary creators of “Perfect Dark” and “Banjo-Kazooie,” “Sea of Thieves” is an immersive, shared world adventure game filled with pirates, unexpected dangers and loot for the taking. Be the pirates you want to be, share adventures with friends, and set your own rules, roles and goals in a world where every sail on the horizon is another crew of players with unknown intent. “Sea of Thieves” offers an experience that will evolve over time, landing in players’ hands early and growing based on feedback from the community.

“STATE OF DECAY 2” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE). The next installment in the fan favorite “State of Decay” franchise immerses you in an all-new multiplayer zombie survival fantasy. Players work together to build lasting communities where choices made shape an interconnected world and form a unique experience every time. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title in 2017.

“SCALEBOUND” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). From critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames Inc. and renowned Game Director Hideki Kamiya, “Scalebound” brings epic adventures and battles at enormous scales across the beautiful and dangerous open world of Draconis. Customize main hero Drew and your dragon, Thuban, to suit your playstyle as you battle legions of soldiers and massive monsters solo or cooperatively with up to three additional friends on Xbox Live. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title in 2017.

“TACOMA” (FIRST ON XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10). It is the year 2088, and humanity has taken to the stars. You step aboard the abandoned space station “Tacoma,” the facility’s Augmented Reality technology your only connection to the crew that once lived here. What happened to them — and what role did the station’s AI overseer, ODIN, play? Discover the truth in “Tacoma,” Fullbright’s follow-up to the genre-defining story exploration game “Gone Home,” when it comes to Windows 10 and Xbox One next year.

“TEKKEN 7™” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC.). An engrossing story intertwines the past, present and future fates of fan-favorite characters in “TEKKEN 7.” Known for revolutionizing the fighting genre through both its hard-hitting gameplay and diverse cast of characters, “TEKKEN 7” introduces enhanced fight mechanics alongside a slew of new combatants to ensure that your next fight won’t ever be your last. Available worldwide for Xbox One in early 2017.
“TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION™ – EXPANSION I: UNDERGROUND” (UBISOFT®). Dive into the underbelly of New York to save what remains in Underground, the first expansion for “Tom Clancy’s The Division.” Explore the randomly generated mazes of subways, tunnels and sewers to fight deadly enemies and recover powerful loot. Experience an all-new incursion and find the latest weapons, gear and more. Available first on Xbox One and Windows PC beginning June 28.
“WE HAPPY FEW” (FIRST TO CONSOLE ON XBOX ONE). Developed by Compulsion Games, “We Happy Few” is coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One this summer. In a dystopian, mod 1964 England that lost World War II, the citizens of Wellington Wells are taking a happy drug called “Joy,” and living in denial of their grim existence and a terrible past. Can you survive among them once you stop taking your Joy become a “Downer?”

Train2Game News Deco Digital recruiting QA Tester

Deco DigitalDeco Digital are an independent video game developer based in Derby and they are looking for a QA Tester to join their team.

Deco Digital was founded in 2013 at the University of Derby by Joe Brammer and Howard Philpott. The studio has since gone on to become an ID@Xbox developer, designing games for Xbox One and PC.

They have previously worked on Pneuma: Breath of Life for the Xbox One which is an enthralling first person puzzler putting gamers’ minds to the test in a visually stunning world using Unreal Engine 4 and Physically Based Rendering. They are currently working on an, as yet, unannounced IP.

The Studio are looking for a full time QA Tester to help develop their current title. You will be required to work out of the Derby studio. Previous testing experience is preferred but not required and they are looking for somebody who is passionate about video games and wants to help develop something special.

Everyone who currently works at Deco Digital has done free work on indie games and mods to reach their goals, they believe its a great way to train yourself to be disciplined, self motivated, and to improve your overall skills. Most of all, having video game credits is almost essential to getting a full time job in the games industry.

If you are interested in applying for the position go to http://www.decodigital.co.uk/qa-tester-application.html and fill out the form.

Good luck to all those who apply!

Train2Game News GameMaker games to Xbox One

GameMaker StudioYoYo Games have announced GameMaker: Studio support for Xbox One, enhanced support for current Microsoft platforms including Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1, as well as support for future operating system releases.

The GameMaker: Studio export for Xbox One will be available in the fourth quarter of 2014 to members of Microsoft’s licensed Xbox developer programs, including ID@Xbox.

“This is a great day for GameMaker: Studio developers,” said Sandy Duncan, Chief Executive Officer at YoYo Games. “We’re absolutely thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Microsoft and to give our community the ability to publish to Xbox One for the first time. We’re especially excited that this agreement will bring continued and future support for all Microsoft platforms.”

“We’re thrilled that the Xbox developer community now has the ability to use GameMaker,” said Ryan Lowdermilk, Marketing Manager at Microsoft. “With GameMaker already available for Windows Phone and Windows, it gives developers another great way to create games across multiple Microsoft platforms.”

For more information about how to become a licensed Xbox One developer, please visit www.xbox.com/id. An Xbox One developer kit is required to take advantage of the GameMaker: Studio export for Xbox One.

Train2Game News Unreal Engine 4 update

Unreal Engine 4Epic Games has released the first major update to Unreal Engine 4 since its public launch as a $19 per month subscription-based service at the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC).

With the release of Unreal Engine 4.1, all subscribers who are registered Xbox or PlayStation developers, including members of the ID@Xbox independent developer program, can receive access to the engine’s complete source code for their respective console platforms, at no extra cost.

For the past two years, some of the world’s leading console developers have been using UE4 to build their next-generation games, so the widespread console availability of this engine is highly notable for the indie developer community.

The 4.1 update also includes SteamOS and Linux support, refined iOS and Android workflow, new game templates both for C++ programmers and designers using Blueprint visual scripting, and more than 100 improvements based on community feedback. In addition, Epic’s Elemental demo is now available for free for subscribers to download from the engine’s Marketplace so that developers can learn from its construction and use its assets in their own projects.

As a demonstration of UE4’s high-end console support, the engine includes “Shooter Game,” a sample project created by Epic and released for free on Marketplace.  The sample is now undergoing certification on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Driven by feedback from the community and informed by Epic’s experience building games such as “Fortnite,” Unreal Engine 4 is evolving at an incredible pace.  Its first month has seen thousands of development forks created on GitHub to improve and extend the engine in an open, collaborative manner.  Starting now, developers on GitHub can see Epic’s internal development process in real-time, with live-streaming source code updates.

To learn more about UE4 or to download the tools, visit www.unrealengine.com.

Train2Game News: Team17 announces next gen Worms

WormsBattlegroundsLogoTeam17 is excited to unveil plans to release their first PlayStation 4 and Xbox One title, Worms Battlegrounds.

Worms Battlegrounds will be one of the first titles to be self-published on the Xbox One under the ID@Xbox program, of which Team17 is one of the ambassadors.

The veteran independent British publisher is proud to see its award-winning franchise make its debut on the next generation of consoles, having seen it already appear on over twenty-five other platforms since its introduction back in 1995.

Worms Battlegrounds is due for a 2014 release and will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Nutjitsu, a lush-looking Pac-Man meets Mini Ninjas game from Ninjabee, creator of the Kefling games for Xbox Live Arcade has also been announced to be released as part of the ID@Xbox initiative.

The first ID@Xbox games will release in March 2014, according to the program’s director Chris Charla. The list of ID@Xbox applicants apparently extends into the “thousands”.

Train2Game News: 32 developers announced for ID@Xbox

Xbox OneMicrosoft has revealed thirty two teams have signed up for their independent publishing programme, ID@Xbox.

Head of ID@Xbox Chris Charla announced the list of thirty two developers today with studios from all over the world including big names like Double Fine and Team 17 all the way down to smaller first time studios developing for Microsoft like The Men Who Wear Many Hats and Iron Galaxy.

Microsoft claims to have shipped over 50 SDKs to independent teams working on Xbox One projects, and intends to enable retail Xbox One units to be used as a dev kit in the near future.

“Bottom line, we’ve been blown away by the interest in the ID@Xbox programme, and we can’t wait until the games start shipping so players can experience the amazing titles that the independent developers will be bringing to Xbox One,” said Charla.

Iron Galaxy’s Dave Lang, makers of Divekick, added: “All developers care about is being able to make the games they want and get them into the hands of as many people as possible. Now, thanks to ID@Xbox, Iron Galaxy can bring Divekick to a Microsoft platform for the first time. We’ve been working on Xbox One games for a while now, and because of that you can bet Divekick will take advantage of all the platform’s unique capabilities.”

Microsoft are certainly stepping in the right direction to help the little studios get their foot in the door and get their games seen by a wider audience.

If you are interested in joining the current list of developers visit http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/developers/id

Train2Game News: Unity free for Xbox One Developers

Xbox OneMicrosoft has partnered with the maker of the popular Unity kit to secure free access for all ID@Xbox members to the Xbox One add-on, which is planned for launch next year.

Announced at Gamescom earlier this year, ID@Xbox will allow independent developers to self-publish on Xbox One without fees. Registered users will not be required to pay certification or title update fees, though currently developers “with a proven track record” are being prioritised for registration. Microsoft also said in July that every Xbox One console can be used as a development kit, though the functionality will not be available from launch.

“When released in 2014, the Xbox One add-on for Unity will be available at no cost to all developers in the ID@Xbox program, as will special Xbox One-only Unity Pro seat licenses for Xbox One developers in the ID@Xbox program,” confirmed Microsoft’s ID@Xbox director Chris Charla.

“We want to make sure the dev who’s working away in Omaha, or Coventry, or Chiba will have the same shot to realize their vision on Xbox One as one of my developer friends we hang out with in Seattle or at a trade show like GDC or Gamescom.

“The Unity add-on for Xbox One supports every element of Xbox One, from Kinect to SmartGlass to the impulse triggers of the new controller,” Charla added. “Using Unity, developers will be able to take advantage of all aspects of Xbox One, which is rad. More importantly, Unity is available for Windows and Windows Phone too (and yes, the add-on is available at no cost to developers for Windows Phone and Windows 8 store games). So from one base game, developers can ship their games across all Microsoft platforms.”

Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason has said that while the dev kit will support high-end features that will make use of Xbox One’s additional power, its established toolset will simplify deployment for familiar developers.

Train2Game News: Xbox One Self Publishing

Xbox OneMicrosoft have finally clarified their self publishing plans for the Xbox One, allowing developers to create, sell and market games through the new home console.

All developers accepted for the scheme will receive two Xbox One development kits free of charge, as well as access to the full range of services on offer to games development teams – cloud services, Kinect and the Xbox One toolset, which includes Smartglass, multiplayer, Achievements and Gamerscores.

Applications for the self-publishing service, named ID@Xbox, are being accepted from today, with Microsoft stating that priority will be given to developers with a proven track record in shipping games on console, mobile, PC or tablets and there are no application fees for certification or for title updates.

In order to help with the discoverability issues that trouble all self-publishing stores, Microsoft is promising that all games will feature in the regular Xbox One store and be supported by voice search.

On top of that the store will also feature trending games reflecting what the community and friends are playing, recommendations based on a consumer’s playing habits, spotlighted games and the ability for developers to set community challenges, as well as support the Xbox One’s Game DVR and Upload services.

Phil Harrison, corporate vice president at Microsoft Europe’s interactive entertainment business, revealed that Microsoft will set the price of self-published games after developers have established their wholesale price and that developers are likely to receive an industry standard 70/30 split in their favour.

“The developer can set their own wholesale price and we act as the retailer. So Xbox Live acts as a reseller, and Xbox Live Store will be setting the ultimate retail price to the consumer. That’s the way in which our store has always been structured,” he said.

Independent developers who have already given their support to Microsoft’s new initiative include Chris Hecker, The Behemoth’s John Baez, Paul Wedgewood from Splash Damage, Other Ocean’s Mike Mika, Team 17’s Debbie Bestwick, The Odd Gentlemen’s Matt Korab, Ripstone’s Phil Gaskel and Dlala Studios.

Microsoft has said that eventually it hopes that every Xbox One will become a development kit for self-publishing purposes.

If you are interested in signing up for this you can do so by visiting http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/developers/id