Train2Game news: “Atari dream team” to develop for “the new arcade” iOS

iPhone and iPad games are “the new arcade.” That’s according to games industry veteran  Seamus Blackley who’s brought together some of the original Atari game developers to build games for iOS.

Blackley co-wrote the proposal for the original Xbox console, and assembled the team behind it.

“This is the dream team from Atari,” he told VentureBeat.

“We are looking at the new arcade, and 99 cents on the iPhone is the new quarter. People are playing on all these new devices and are finding the joy of the arcade games.”

Blackley says his team, “”the Jedi Council of videogame design” want to create, quality, original games.

“We are carrying on where Atari left off, focusing on innovation in gameplay,” he said.

“We have to create a quality experience, hone it, and tweak the crap out of it so that you get the same level of gameplay that people demanded in the arcade era. It’s scary as sh*t if you don’t understand gameplay.” Blackley added.

The eleven Atari developers are going to be joined by a team of interns in a company that’ll consist of 30 employees in total. The studio is called Innovative Leisure.

Train2Game students will be aware of the rise of mobile gaming, and the opportunities it can bring.

The Train2Game Blog will certainly be keeping an eye on Blackley’s new studio.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Atari veterens developing iOS titles? Is i OS the new arcade?

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

[Source: Eurogamer via VentureBeat]

Train2Game news: Facebook iPad App launches, a reminder of social media gaming’s impact

Train2Game students will be aware that the iPad has opened doors for game developers, and now it’ll be even easier to use the Apple device for gaming.

Now, the official Facebook iPad app has finally launched which will being tighter integration of social media games and applications.

The app allows Facebook games to be played in a full screen mode, and allows access to various games available to Facebook users on laptop and desktop computers.

The growth of social media gaming means that there’s a whole new platform for game developers to publish games on.

Indeed, as reported by the Train2Game blog, Civilization creator Sid Meier believes this means it’s a great time for the industry.

“I think now is one of the most exciting times to be a Game Designer” he said earlier this year.

“With the rapid growth of social network games there are new opportunities for smaller indie developers to make and distribute games, so we’re seeing a wider variety of games on all kinds of cool devices than ever before. That’s great for the whole industry.”

Meanwhile, Zynga Game Designer Brian Reynolds – who previously worked on Civilization II means the growth of social gaming is a good thing for game designers

“A Game Designer is actually more important on a social game than on a triple-A game because on a triple-A game you spend a lot of time making technology and tools and gigabytes worth of animations and things like that.” said Reynolds earlier this year.

“I can remember whole months going by where they didn’t need me to do any game design whereas on social games it’s a game designer’s paradise.”

The official Facebook iPad app is therefore surely a good thing for aspiring game developers as it makes playing social media games more accessible to more people.

Of course, the new Facebook app means that iPad users can also stay in touch with the Official Train2Game Facebook page even when they’re out!

What are your thoughts on the Facebook App for iPad and the growth of social media gaming?

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

Train2Game news: Apple’s Steve Jobs dies age 56

Apple founder Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56 after suffering from cancer.

Train2Game students will be very familiar with Apple products thanks to the emergence of the iPhone and iPad  as gaming platforms.

Both mobile devices have had a significant impact on the world of games and game development, with the Apple App store providing an effective way for small teams to publish games.

Indeed, in a recent interview with the Train2Game blog, indie studio Hogrocket told us the reasons why they’ve chosen to publish games on iPhone after leaving Triple A development.

But it isn’t just mobile gaming where Apple had an impact on the industry. In 1984, the release of Apple’s Macintosh saw the inclusion of something essential to PC gamers today, and that thing was the mouse. Before inclusion with the Macintosh came along, home computers were operated by text only interfaces. It’d be difficult to imagine PC gaming even existing without the mouse.

Meanwhile, iTunes and the idea of paying for digital data paved the way of Steam, Xbox Live, PSN and Online to set up their own digital distribution services.

Jobs only stepped down as Apple CEO a few weeks ago, his replacement paid tribute to the company founder in an email to staff.

“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor,” said Cook. “Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

Cook also praised Steve Jobs as a ‘a visionary and creative genius.

U.S. President Barak Obama led tributes to the Apple founder, “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.” he said.

Train2Game students can leave their own tributes to Steve Jobs on the Train2Game forum, or on the Train2Game Facebook page.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Train2Game news: Telltale Games – iPad ‘obvious place to focus’

Train2Game students will be aware of the significance of the iPad and how Apple has changed the games industry.

Not only has it provided indie developers with the opportunity to release games, but bigger, more established studios are also seeing its benefits.

Telltale games are one such studio,  last month seeing 30% of their revenue come from the sale of iOS titles, and now CEO Dan Connors says they’re planning to focus more resources on iPad game development.

“The tablet is super interesting to us because we believe the style of content we build is perfect for the form factor,” he told Gamasutra.

“The fact that Apple has been able to get such a powerful tablet out there with a big install base makes it the obvious place to focus.”

Telltale games available in Apple’s app store include episodic titles Back to the Future, Sam & Max, Monkey Island and Hector: Badge of Carnagae.

And the studio CEO praised Apple’s global appeal and commented that the App store is an excellent way of getting games in front of a wide audience.

“What we’re seeing is you have access to a worldwide audience. There seems to be a real proliferation of these devices across the world,” he said.

“And the app store is so easy for people to purchase from. You can get your products to market really quickly and get them in front of people really quickly. There’s a good diverse audience – which is really good for the content that we do.”

Train2Game student Georgij Cernysiov has already seen his own iPad title released through the app store, while Train2Game student team Horizon Studios released Postal Panic for iPad earlier this year.

Train2Game students have also contributed to the development of DR Studios’ Bug Wings for iPhone and iPad. All of these show that producing iPad games could potentially be a great way for Train2Game students to get their games on the market.

And as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Apple could potentially continue to revolutionise the games industry.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Telltale’s move towards more focus on iPad development? Is it something more developers will do? Would you focus on developing games for Apple devices?

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

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game Student Georgij Cernysiov releases Euro Destruction

A cash-strapped student studying in the North East of England has created and published a humorous mobile app for iPad and iPhone that could prevent the ‘Euro Destruction’. The quirky app is the first of its kind created by a novice games designer. It encourages its users to play their way through current financial and political scenarios that culminate in the end of Europe as we know it.

A cash-strapped student from the North East of England has managed to build and publish his own game for iPad and iPhone. Georgij Cernysiov, a student on the Train2Game blended learning course has achieved what many budding games designers dream of. He has managed to get his iPhone game published without the support of a large development team or deep pockets. The humorous game, aptly titled ‘Euro Destruction’ was designed and built in less than a month using virtually no art or programming skills.

Using the ipad and iphone game development software, Thinking Worlds, which is free to download and use, Georgij was able to add a fun twist to a worrying tale and turn the current plight of the Eurozone into a fun app that is available to download for free from Apple’s App Store.

In the game, users must decide the fate of Europe by deciding who to throw money at; the ‘Bankers’ or the ‘Citizens’ or, if they can’t decide in time get lost in the process.

Despite having very little cash or extensive programming knowledge, Georgij’s creativity and the tools he used to create the game made the process accessible to him and he was able to create a downloadable game that was fun, original and has already started getting downloads from the App Store.

When asked about the idea behind the game, Georgij said he wanted to “try and create a game that touched on some of the current issues within Europe without bogging people down with too much economics or politics.”

Georgij’s achievement marks another positive outcome facilitated by the Train2Game course and free to use game development software, Thinking Worlds.

Play the Game for Free:

Train2Game students can try OnLive when it launches at the Eurogamer Expo

It’s a date that Train2Game students should mark in their diaries as one that could potentially change the future of the industry.

Cloud gaming service OnLive will arrive in the UK On 22nd September, with a launch at the Eurogamer Expo.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, cloud gaming could potentially bring Triple-A gaming to anyone, including smartphone and tablet computer users.

The launch coincidences with the Eurogamer Expo – which Train2Game will once again be attending – and OnLive will be giving out thousands of free game systems that’ll work on any TV.

OnLive will utterly transform gaming in the UK,” said OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman.

“No discs, big downloads or specialised hardware needed. OnLive gives you the latest games instantly, anytime, anywhere on HDTV, PC, Mac, as well as iPad, Android tablets.

High-performance gaming as accessible as streaming video, with unique social features such as massive spectating with voice chat and Facebook integration.”

And speaking earlier this year, Perlman, as you’d expect, believes cloud gaming is the future for the industry.

“The power of the cloud is definitely the theme this week, displacing what had been assumed to be platforms that could never be displaced,” he said at the E3 app launch..

“The OnLive Player App for iPad and Android shows how with the power of the cloud, the question is not whether cloud gaming will be able to catch up to consoles, it will be whether consoles will be able to catch up to cloud gaming.”

There are however, as the Train2Game blog has previously reported, concerns about latency when it comes to cloud based gaming. A reliable internet connection will of course be needed to connect to servers, which could be very far away.

But is cloud gaming a threat to traditional consoles? As reported by the Train2Game blog, yesterday, Gaikai’s Dave Perry doesn’t believe so.

“We don’t think we’re a threat to console. I think the threat to consoles is actually Apple” Perry told GamesIndustry.biz.

Train2Game students will have the opportunity to check out OnLive and cloud gaming at the Eurogamer Expo which starts on September 22nd.

So Train2Game, are you tempted to try out OnLive? Do you believe it could change how the industry works?

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

[Source: Eurogamer]

Train2Game news: The main threat to consoles is “actually Apple”

 

The Train2Game blog has previously reported on cloud gaming, and how some believe it’s the future of the games industry.

However, owner of cloud gaming service Gaikai Dave Perry – who has previously been quoted by the Train2Game blog – doesn’t believe cloud is a threat to consoles. He think the threat to those comes from somewhere else.

“We don’t think we’re a threat to console. I think the threat to consoles is actually Apple” Perry told GamesIndustry.biz

“I think the concern there is that they’re generating hardware so quickly now. If you’re creating and shipping new hardware every 12 months, and during that 12 months you’re also giving pretty impressive upgrades, the features that people want, and you’re giving them those every six months and hardware every 12 months, I think the idea that you would have five to seven years on hardware refreshes is becoming a technical problem.”

And while Perry believes games consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 could survive thanks to their ability for use as multimedia entertainment devices, he’s not so sure about traditional handhelds.

“I think the handhelds are getting challenged very aggressively by the mobile phones,” he said. “I find myself spending a lot of money on iPhone, and if you look at a handheld today, the ones that people keep making, they still make them as a gaming machine.”

“Kids today… don’t want to carry anything that just does one thing. They carry their phone and it does everything. And so if you make single function devices, then you’ve got a problem. That’s my concern for handhelds, is this single function side of it”

Perry’s comments echo those the Train2Game blog reported Capcom made at the beginning of this year. They argued that smartphones including the iPhone are dragging consumers away from traditional handheld consoles.

And as reported by the Train2Game blog earlier this year,  Apple could ‘own’ the games industry, at least according to Former PlayStation executive Vice President Phil Harrison.

“At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth, then there’s a pretty good chance that Apple will be the games industry,” Harrison told Edge

As Train2Game students will know, the iTunes App store could potentially provide a Train2Game student with a large audience for the games they produce.

So Train2Game, is Apple the biggest threat to the rest of the games industry? Should it be considered a threat at all?

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

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

Train2Game student developed iOS game Bug Wings gets free Lite version and update

 

Train2Game students on industry experience placements at DR Studios have helped produce Bug Wings throughout its game development and update cycle.

The game for iPhone,iPad  and iPad touch has received some positive reviews with the Train2Game blog previously reporting on a score of 4/5 from 148apps. Bug Wings also received 4/5 from high profile American website GamePro.

DR Studios has released a free Lite version of their tilt-controlled arcade adventure Bug Wings.  Featuring six levels set across a unique pond in a single player Solo Mode, Bug Wings Lite gives players a tantalizing free taste of the complete game.

Bug Wings Lite is available to download for free from the iTunes App store.

Also released today is version 1.2 of the full version of Bug Wings that introduces a number of game play improvements. These include:

  • New and improved virtual joypad controls
  • Improved tutorials for new players
  • Increased number of bug sound effects

For more information about Bug Wings, visit the official Bug Wings website or the official Bug Wings iTunes app store page.

Support fellow Train2Game students and give it a go!

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

[Source: Train2Game]

Train2Game student developed game Postal Panic released via iTunes app store

 

Train2Game student developed game Postal Panic is now available to download for free from the iTunes App store!

Postal Panic was produced by Train2Game student team Horizon Studios  in just 11 days as part of the Train2Game Christmas competition 2010. 

The game is free to download for its first three weeks of release, and then the price will rise to 59p. Half of the revenue from Postal Panic will be going to the Prince’s Trust charity.

Postal Panic is the fun postcode delivering game developed by Train2Game students. Your job is simple; deliver the parcels to the postcodes as quickly as you can.

As the Parcels come down the conveyor belt, you need to deliver them to the postcode displayed on the Postal Scanner 7000; you need to do this before they hit the bottom, as this will damage the parcels and Postal Paul will get fined. Too many fines and you’re in for the sack!

Features

• Accurate map of the UK postal code system

• Simple, intuitive touch &swipe game controls

• Single or Multiplayer with up to 4 players

• Addictively fun puzzle game play and scoring

• Learn the Post Code areas of the UK and impress your friends & family

For updates on Postal Panic head to the official website at http://postalpanic.horizonstudios.co.uk/ 

Postal Panic can be downloaded now from the iTunes app store. The Postal Panic trailer can be seen on the Train2game Youtube channel.

To play more games developed by Train2Game students, visit the official Train2Game Game Jam website, where all the games developed during the 48 hour event are available for free.

So Train2Game, will you be downloading Postal Panic?

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

Apple could ‘own’ the games industry

Train2Game students will be highly aware of how Apple has revolutionised the way we play games, but that could just be the start according to one respected industry figure.

Former PlayStation executive Vice President Phil Harrison believes that in 10 years, Apple will own the entire game industry.

“At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth, then there’s a pretty good chance that Apple will be the games industry,” Harrison told Edge

“When asked to clarify his point, Harrison said: “[I mean in terms of] the proliferation of devices – you’ve got iPhones, iPads, iPods, which are all part of the same ecosystem; the speed at which Apple sold 15 million iPads is phenomenal. And the number one activity on an iPad, according to some reports, is games, and I think that will only continue.”

Earlier this year, The Train2Game blog reported that gaming is the number one activity on tablet computers such as  the iPad.

“The fact that the consumer purchase and discovery mechanism is so well integrated – you see something on the App Store, you click a button, the product delivers to your device. That end-to-end shopping experience, if you want to call it that, has been so elegantly built by Apple and they will continue to refine it” Harrison added.

Earlier this month, the Train2Game reported that OnLive plan to bring Triple A titles to tablet computers thanks to their cloud gaming system.

Meanwhile, Train2Game students know the benefits of producing mobile games, with some having even worked on DR Studios Bug Wings while on a Train2Game work placement.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the claims? Could Apple dominate gaming? Or will there always be competition? Or is the whole thing farfetched?

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

[Source: Edge]