Train2game News Develop Brighton Indie Keynote Speakers


Robin Hunicke, one of the games industry’s most talented developers, has been named as the Indie Keynote Speaker on Thursday 14 July at this year’s Develop:Brighton.

Over a career spanning an impressive 12 years, Hunicke has worked on a number of titles that have shaken the industry, including Journey (9/10 IGN), Boom Blox (9/10 Eurogamer), MySims (8/10 Game Informer) and The Sims 2 (94% IGN). She’s also the co-founder of indie studio Funomena, where she’s currently working on two upcoming titles: Luna and Wattam.

Though her glowing resumé reveals the depth of her knowledge, Hunicke’s candidacy for the Keynote spot is bolstered by an incredible commitment to fairness and diversity of both thought and participation in game design and culture. Recently recognised with an Influential Woman in Games award, Hunicke has also spent several years involved in the organisation of Indiecade while holding the role of Professor of Art, Games & Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz.

She believes game developers can create novel, experimental games by designing for feeling, and her talk will aim to highlight this by focusing on the core artistic and emotional inspirations at the heart of Luna, which focuses on themes of personal transformation. The talk will explain how decisions in art, sound and gameplay design are integrated via “Feel Engineering” to reinforce the games underlying themes and narrative.

“The quality of Robin’s output speaks for itself,” said Andy Lane, Managing Director at Tandem Events. “As someone who’s worked with both big studios and small indies, we know Robin will offer valuable insight and inspiration in her keynote, with her talk kicking off a day of great sessions from a talented cast.”

Other sessions in the Indie Dev Day include:

Pitching is Courtship
Shahid Ahmad, Indie Developer

How does someone in charge of budget for financing video games think? As a developer, how do you give yourself the best possible chance to unlock those funds? In this session, Shahid shares his experiences in commissioning over a hundred games. If you’re a developer and you’re looking for funding for your game, you’ll want to know how to give yourself every chance of success. In “Pitching is Courtship”, Shahid shares some of the things he looked for in a developer and their pitches when he was making funding decisions.

Killing the Indie Crunch Myth: Shipping Games Alive
Simon Roth, Machine Studios

Crunch has become commonplace in AAA and indie development, but it is often misunderstood, misrepresented and, more often than not, outright harmful to a game and the team developing it. This talk will explain the myths surrounding productivity and overtime in the indie games pipeline, illustrate how to avoid the common pitfalls and offer realistic strategies that can be used to keep your team healthy and your milestones on schedule.

Console Porting Indie Games with Network Support: Worth it?
James Parker, Ground Shatter

This talk aims to provide an understanding of the additional elements required to port games to console platforms. It’ll go into the knowledge you’ll need when trying to do network play with a micro-team, along with examples of who is currently doing this kind of work and what help is available.

How to Succeed and Where You’ll Fail: Money, Marketing, and Making a Mark
Chair: Joe Brammer, Bulkhead Interactive
Agostino Simonetta, ID@Xbox
Phil Elliott, Square Enix Collective
Gordon Van Dyke, Raw Fury Games
Howard Philpott, Bulkhead Interactive

This 30-minute panel will be discussing multiple avenues to success as an independent developer or studio, focusing on PC & Console. This panel will focus on the often forgotten parts of indie development; how to fund, market, and make a significant splash in the gaming community with your indie title. The speakers are interested in helping developers build sustainable and viable studios, audience members will have multiple opportunities to ask questions to the panel throughout the talk.

Alongside the expo, there are also a number of free-to-attend Indie BootCamp sessions.

Super Early Bird passes are available until 27 April, saving delegates up to 30% on a three day pass. Indie Dev Day passes cost just £90 if booked by this date.

Train2Game News Exhibition places available at PLAY Expo Blackpool


This April, the UK’s favourite Arcade, Indie & Retro video gaming expo will be returning to the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre in Blackpool for it’s fifth year.

Proud supporters of the UK indie scene, Replay Events are offering indie developers and studios special low rates for space and power on the main show floor – but space is limited so if you want to get involved you’ll need to act fast!

Located at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, PLAY Expo Blackpool attracts over 5000 attendees from all over the UK during the two day event. The expo draws a diverse crowd due to the variety of systems, exhibitions and activities on offer – some people come for the coin-ops, pinball and retro stuff, some for the current gen and indie games, others for cosplay, highscore tournaments or talks from game industry legends – but the majority embrace the entire spectrum of video gaming culture as a whole.

Unlike some other expos, the indie section at PLAY Expo Blackpool won’t be hidden away in a separate hall away from the main ruckus.
Indies will be centrally located within the main exhibition space, i.e. where the people are. Prices for exhibiting are extremely

    -£180 Standard booth (1x table, 6ft backing board, space and power for 2x PC/Console set-ups, 2x Exhibitor passes)

    -£300 Large booth (2x tables, 6ft backing board, space and power for 4x PC/Console set-ups, 4x Exhibitor passes)

(Note that wired internet, PC hire and additional exhibitor passes are also available at an additional cost. Please contact us for further information and prices).

In addition to this, exhibiting indies will have their own dedicated liaison in the form of RGCD.DEV/RGCD.CO.UK’s James Monkman, who’ll be on hand before, during and after the event to help ensure exhibitors requirements over the weekend are fully accommodated.

For further information on the event visit the PLAY Expo Blackpool website ( ). You can either register your interest in exhibiting online via the contact page, or request an information pack from James direct via email ( ) or Twitter (@James_Monkman).

Train2Game News Instant Indie Collection


Curve Digital unveils the easy way to build your game collection on PlayStation and Xbox One: introducing ‘Instant Indie Collection’ Volume One.

The Instant Indie Collection is designed to offer Xbox and PlayStation owners the opportunity to build a collection of the very best indie games, for a fraction of their usual price.

Set to be released semi regularly from now on, the bundles will showcase celebrated indie games from across all genres.

Instant Indie Collection Volume One contains Stealth Inc 2, Thomas Was Alone and The Swapper – currently the highest rated Xbox One game in Metacritic – and is available from today on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita (cross buy) and Friday on Xbox One, priced £17.99 / $22.99 / €22.99, over a 33 per cent off the full SRP.

Stealth Inc 2 (current Metacritic rating 82 per cent on Xbox) takes the premise of tight, arcade-orientated stealth to a whole new level. Players embark on a remarkable platform adventure across a huge ‘Metroidvania’-style overworld in which clever gadgets, devious puzzles and a delicious sense of humour combine.

Thomas Was Alone (80 per cent Metacritic rating on PS3) is the game which introduced the world to Thomas, Chris, John, Claire and Laura – and, of course, Mike Bithell. The BAFTA winning game will delight and infuriate as players take a cast of quadrilaterals on a journey which will linger long after the game has concluded.

The Swapper, from Facepalm games, is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in the furthest reaches of space. An experimental device allows players to clone versions of themselves in order to journey deeper into the game’s hand-crafted world in one of gaming’s most mature narrative adventures.

“The Instant Indie Collection is being designed to allow new console owners to easily discover games they may have missed on original release,” says Jason Perkins, managing director, Curve Digital. “Whilst Volume One is all about puzzle platformers, we intend to ensure that each collection keeps things fresh, aiming to cover multiple genres where we can. They will all have one thing in common, though – and that’s a ridiculously competitive price.”

Instant Indie Collection Volume One is out today on PlayStation 4, 3 and Vita (cross buy) and on Friday for Xbox One, priced £17.99 / $22.99 / €22.99.

Train2Game News Indie MEGABOOTH at EGX


EGX, the UK’s biggest games event, and Indie MEGABOOTH, the showcase for independent game developers are today thrilled to announce the 29 playable games that are coming to this month’s EGX as part of the Indie MEGABOOTH.
Starting in 2011 as a way to introduce indie games to both conference goers and the gaming community as a whole, the Indie MEGABOOTH found enormous success through a mixture of highly original and engaging games content, delighting North American fans along the way. Through a special partnership with EGX the Indie MEGABOOTH is making the transatlantic voyage for the first time, bringing unique and wonderful games to impress visitors. As the Indie MEGABOOTH puts it, “there’s no way you will leave without finding your new favourite game”.
Games selected for the EGX Indie MEGABOOTH include ‘first-person exploration game’ Pollen, ‘isometric action RPG’ Eitr and Move or Die, the 4 player game in which stopping means your character explodes. The full list is as follows:
AEROBAT, BOID, Cerulean Moon, Dropsy, Eitr, Enter the Gungeon, Four Sided Fantasy, Future Unfolding, Gunsport, Herald, Induction, Just Shapes & Beats, Kingdom, Knee Deep, Mayan Death Robots, MindFork, Monsters & Monocles, Move or Die, Pollen, Redshift Blueshift, Sea of Solitude, Star Command Galaxies, Galactic Hero Agency, Stikbold!, The Flock, The Masterplan, The Red Solstice, Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows and VIDEOBALL.
“This has been a really big year for us and we’re really excited to cap 2015 with our first-ever showcase in the UK”, said Kelly Wallick, founder of Indie MEGABOOTH. “The UK is already a great hub for indie development and this is an amazing opportunity to bring together talented devs to showcase their games as well as extend our support of the indie dev community to the UK”.
“Having been recognised as a bastion of quality by our American cousins for several years, we’re immensely proud to welcome the Indie MEGABOOTH to UK shores for the first time”, said David Lilley, Managing Director of Gamer Events. “Indie gaming is a core part of the EGX experience, and with the support of Indie MEGABOOTH visitors to EGX will be treated to the largest collection of indie games anywhere in the country”.
In addition to the Indie MEGABOOTH, this year’s EGX also features the Rezzed Zone and Leftfield Collection, showcasing over 300 screens of fantastic indie games. Whether a hardcore indie gamer or new to the scene, the indie presence at EGX will deliver countless fantastic gaming experiences.

EGX runs at the NEC, Birmingham, from 24th to 27th September. For all the information about the event, including the playable games and features announced so far, plus to buy a ticket to this year’s show, please visit

Train2Game News Site to bring indies together


Los Angeles based Pie Powered Productions launched their new website today,

The website is aimed at the Independent Game Development community, and caters to all skill levels, from student to hobbyist to professional. is primarily a social oriented community, providing tools and resources to developers to find, share, communicate, and collaborate with each other.

One of the more compelling features of the site, is a matchmaking search engine that allows Members to find other developers based on what their proficiencies and disciplines are, and what they are looking for from a collaborator.

The site features activity feeds, media sharing, public and private groups, forums and a blog, amongst other things.  Future features include exclusive deals with middleware and tools providers, game jam and creator competitions and much more.

Train2Game News GameLoading Rise of the Indies


Since its world premiere last month at industry events and select regional screenings, the GameLoading: Rise of the Indies feature documentary film has been generating strong chatter in videogame and online circles.

On April 21, GameLoading: Rise of the Indies will release through Steam, Humble, PlayStation, Xbox, iTunes, VHX and Playism.  Today through Friday April 29, early purchasers can place their orders for the film through VHX at a discount at

    Standalone Film:     $8.99 (will be $9.99 after April 29)
    Member’s Bundle:   $14.99 (will be $19.99 after April 29)

Includes the film’s soundtrack, supplementary ebook and access to extra content, along with the film.

GameLoading explores the world of indie developers – their craft, dreams, and the ways they are changing the landscape of games culture. Indie games contribute to advancing the medium through their innovative, varied and personal approach. Small teams of passionate and creative developers offer an alternate voice to players. GameLoading captures this amazing time in the industry, where video games are becoming more personal than ever before.  While sharing a wide snapshot of the subculture, GameLoading focuses on a handful of developers; Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer), Robin Arnott (SoundSelf), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Tale of Tales (Luxuria Superbia), Trent Kusters (Armello) and Christine Love (Analogue: A Hate Story). 

After an early viewing, Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin called the film “an incredible and honest snapshot of the indie scene.”

In addition to these figures, the film also captures a wide variety of indie developers behind some of the most important games of the past few years and highlights this diverse, creative community on an international scale.  The film demystifies what goes into making a game, examines the different processes of developers, captures the excitement of industry events like PAX, GDC, the prestigious Independent Games Festival Awards and Train Jam, examines why we play, what success means, and where this medium has come from and where it may be going. 

By film’s end we get a clear and emotional snapshot of this alternate games industry segment that will inspire audiences to seek out new game experiences – or make games themselves!  While video games often carry perceptions of violence and anti-social settings, GameLoading offers a less publicized spotlight. We see how some indie developers are encouraging a dialogue on human issues such as mental illness, relationships, family grief, poverty and war.

Train2Game News Student in BAFTA programme


Indie Developer taught by Train2Game selected for BAFTA programme

Nicola Valcasara amongst the elite of the UK games industry accepted to join BAFTA Crew Games 2014

Professional video games creator who learnt his craft with Train2Game, joins experienced UK games developers in exclusive BAFTA scheme. Nicola Valcasara has taken one of 100 places available for Game Practitioners requiring at least two years professional experience in the games industry in the UK. The programme provides exclusive access to: Games Industry mentors, live QAs and podcasts, networking opportunities and scientific research in Game Design. 

Nicola has an outstanding reputation in the Train2Game community, having won a previous design competition with Rapid2D. He now works with another previous TrainGame student, Darroch McNaught, at Indie studio DeuXality Games. He’s set to learn a tremendous amount from  the course, masterclasses and online livestreams cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games 2014 is an interactive programme – working with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs.

Working with partners Creative Skillset and Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games 2014 will shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.

Nicola Valcasara, “I applied at the BAFTA Crew games 2014 in September, thanks to a research on the net about funding and game developing events. Now I have been accepted, this is a very nice way to show my face around and I hope it will move me one step further inside the Games Industry. This is a great opportunity to be involved in an interactive programme focused on making wonderful products and allowing me to meet important people in the game industry. I’ll also get to meet the other 99 people like me and share ideas and future projects.”

Train2Game News New RPG Maker allows mobile ports


Enterbrain and Degica collaborate on new middleware, which enables first official RPG Maker mobile ports.

Enterbrain recently partnered with Degica to distribute RPG Maker VX Ace, the latest version of the software, outside of Japan. Since teaming up, the pair have developed a new piece of middleware that allows developers to efficiently port RPG Maker games to mobile devices.

The RPG Maker software first emerged back in 1988 and, throughout several iterations, has remained the first choice when it comes to creating both traditional and innovative games in 16-bit.

Degica’s global director of sales and promotion, Mitchell Scott, said: “The RPG Maker software has been a great tool for aspiring and established game developers alike over the past two decades and we’re incredibly proud to be part of that legacy.”

While the majority of projects emulate major franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, numerous teams have capitalised on the flexibility of the engine to create unique experiences.

The likes of To The Moon are widely regarded as genuine indie success stories, with the game receiving numerous awards and praise from established publications and organisations including Gamespot, Wired and the Independent Games Festival.

Earlier this week, Undefeated – the popular RPG Maker title – was unveiled for mobile with a brand new trailer and an iOS/Android release date of 3 October, 2014.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Degica connects the dots between developers, distributors and publishers, and between the Eastern and Western markets. Their recent work with Enterbrain and RPG Maker aims to put the popular development toolkit, and the games it has spawned, firmly on the global map.

Train2Game News Your Beautiful Game Results

The results of Turtle Beaches Your Beautiful Game poll have been release and the number one beautiful game may surprise you.

Forget Far Cry 3, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker or The Last of Us – a Turtle Beach poll to discover the title that gamers care for most passionately has crowned Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress as the community’s most “Beautiful Game”.

Over the past four weeks, Turtle Beach has been asking fans to nominate the games they care most about by submitting videos, images or text through a special microsite at A shortlist was then compiled, from which members of the Turtle Beach community could pick their winner. Those who made the shortlist campaigned hard for support to try and ensure their beautiful game came out on top.

The campaign, which began in July and concluded this weekend, saw nominations for a huge variety of games. After thousands of votes  Dwarf Fortress triumphed over huge titles such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Far Cry 3 and The Last of Us to establish itself as the most popular game amongst the Turtle Beach community.

The top 15 beautiful games
1. Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
3. Far Cry 3
4. Call of Duty: Ghosts
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
6. Borderlands 2
7. The Last of Us
9. Pac-Man
10. Halo 3
11. FIFA 14
12. Grand Theft Auto V
13. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
14. Super Mario Galaxy 2
15. Resident Evil

“It’s been really interesting to see the votes come flooding in for Dwarf Fortress,” said David Roberton, Vice President of International Marketing at Turtle Beach. “We had a strong and very eclectic list of nominations and are delighted, but not surprised, to crown Dwarf Fortress as the Beautiful Game. While some truly phenomenal games featured on the shortlist, Dwarf Fortress is an outstanding example of interaction design and proves that you don’t have to be a huge AAA title to really resonate with gamers.”

Train2Game News From Bytes to Boxed

Sold OutSold Out Sales & Marketing Limited, one of the UK’s leading publishers of boxed titles, claims that many independent developers are missing out on substantial amounts of additional revenue by ignoring traditional routes to market.

The firm – which recently announced a partnership with Team17 Digital Limited to bring its forthcoming digital titles to retail – is now actively seeking new publishing opportunities which can generate an additional tranche of revenue for the developer.

In the case of high-profile digital releases, many mainstream publishers have forecast that their digital revenues may be as little as nine per cent of their boxed income. Microsoft’s decision to keep boxed as part of their Next-Gen strategy indicates that even where a business intends to be primarily digitally focused, retail earnings are still very key in the revenue streams.

“Digital publishing has proved a fertile ground for innovative, lean independent developers – but many are ignoring additional opportunities – which is leaving that cash on the table,” says James Cato, Sales Director at Sold Out.

“Whilst the digital marketplace is undoubtedly convenient for indie developers, we’re able to very quickly and easily open up routes to traditional markets, reaching players who prefer to build physical collections – or those who remain fearful of purchasing online.”

In the latter half of 2014, Sold Out will bring at least seven new titles to retail – including some of the highest-profile digital releases of the year. More information will be revealed at a later stage. These titles will be in addition to Sold Out’s own digital releases across PC and home consoles.

“We’re actively seeking new partners,” adds James Cato. “We’re as simple to work with as it comes: getting your games into shops requires very little additional manpower, and we’re not interested in owning anyone’s IP or digital revenues, all we offer is additional profits and access to a traditional market – literally every sale we make is a bonus to our partners.”

For more information in working with Sold Out, please contact / +44 (0)203 405 4585