Train2Game News From Bedrooms to Billions out now

From Bedrooms to BillionsToday, the global videogame market is worth a staggering $93 Billion, far larger than the $15bn music industry, and bigger still than the $88.3bn worldwide film industry.

2014 has also proved to be a momentous year for the industry in the UK, with the sector getting back on track and witnessing the long-awaited introduction of Games Tax Relief. As such, this is an opportune time to review and reflect on the UK’s incredible heritage and role in creating what is now, the biggest entertainment business on Earth.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’, a new two-hour feature length documentary film which tells that remarkable, true story of the British Videogame Industry from 1979 to the present day is out today.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ is a crowdfunded production, two and a half years in the making, that shows how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in the shaping of today’s multi-billion dollar videogame industry.

Developments in computer technology in the UK of the late 70s early 80s helped inspire a generation of small teams of enthusiasts, hobbyists, school kids, bedroom coders and entrepreneurs to make and release some truly classic games. ‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ reveals some of the remarkable stories, struggles and successes that saw the UK videogame industry go from quite literally nothing to a major force littered with original thinkers, innovators and eccentric characters.

The film then looks at how the cottage-style early games business began to evolve into a fully-fledged industry which in turn inspired more young developers and publishers to enter the industry, before the appearance of overseas games platforms presented an all new challenge by the early to mid-1990s.

It also features interviews with key contributors to the UK story, including Peter Molyneux, Jeff Minter, David Braben, David Perry, Jason Kingsley, Mark Healey and many others from across video game development, publishing and journalism from over the past 40 years, combined with compelling archive footage.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ is the first to attempt to bring this amazing story together. Starting in the late 70s, spanning ‘Thatcher’s Britain’ of the 80s and culminating in the dramatic shift of fortunes for the UK Video Games Industry by the late 90s. The film celebrates the importance of this era and why it has become such a landmark period in the history of British invention, creativity and industry.

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ is rapidly becoming regarded as one of the most comprehensive and thorough video game documentaries ever created and is essential viewing for anyone interested in video games, either as a player or as a creator.

The film is available now from www.frombedroomstobilliions.com

Train2Game News: GameStick Kickstarter earns over $600k

GameStickThe Android based GameStick has now finished its Kickstarter and it has made over 6 times more than it needed.

The GameStick is a new portable console that runs the android operating system. It is a very small stick, similar to that of a USB stick, with a HDMI connection so it can plug straight in to your HD TV. The stick can be stored inside of it’s specially made Bluetooth controller to keep it safe and compact. The GameStick will also work with other Bluetooth controllers.

GameStick´s purpose-built game store will be powered by PlayJam´s built-for-TV technology enabling users to browse, download content and interact with the wider GameStick community.

The campaign to fund the production of GameStick, which is set to ship in April 2013, closed on Friday with pledges coming in right up to the last second finishing at 648% of the original target with a total of $648k. Those that missed out on the Kickstarter campaign will be able to pre-order via the GameStick website at www.gamestick.tv.

Anthony Johnson, CMO, PlayJam said “We are overwhelmed, excited, grateful, thrilled and everything in between. The campaign has been an incredible success with support from thousands of backers worldwide but this is just the beginning. The feedback from the Kickstarter community has been invaluable in shaping the final product and we will continue to seek input from those that supported us to ensure continued innovation ahead of a global retail launch.”

Throughout the campaign the team responded to thousands of comments and suggestions from Kickstarter backers that saw the product evolve in real-time as the team scrambled to incorporate a number of requested features from additional memory capacity to support for peripheral hardware via a docking station.

GameStick, described as ‘The Most Portable TV games Console Ever Created’ has been hailed by many supporters as the console to disrupt the games industry. The device has gathered high profile supporters throughout the campaign such as; Jason Kingsley, (Founder of Rebellion), Jason Bradbury (Gadget Show host) Jermaine Dupri (Record producer) and Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball Legend).

You can download a SDK for the new device at www.gamestick.tv and start developing for a new consoling experience.

Train2Game news: Sniper Elite V2 developer Rebellion hosting Twitter Q&A session today

Train2Game students have the opportunity to question the team behind Sniper Elite V2, as developer Rebellion take part in a Twitter Q&A later today.

Rebellion CEO and Creative Director has previously offered advice to Train2Game students on getting into the games industry in a video interview, which you can watch right here on The Train2Game Blog

The Sniper Elite V2 Q&A begins at 15:00,  and if you’ve got a question for Rebellion, tweet it to the development team using the hashtag #SEV2. Sniper Elite V2 from the Oxford based studio is scheduled for release next month on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Watch Sniper Elite V2 developer diary below for an insight into the upcoming shooter.

So Train2Game, what would you ask the Sniper Elite V2 development team?

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

Train2Game at EuroGamer with Jason Kingsley CEO and Creative Director Rebellion

Train2Game at EuroGamer with Jason Kingsley CEO and Creative Director Rebellion

Together with younger brother Chris, Jason Kingsley formed Oxford-based developer Rebellion in 1991. Their first published title was Alien Vs. Predator on the Atari Jaguar, in 1995. They gained wider acclaim in the late 90’s with the PC game Aliens Vs. Predator. Following that, Jason bought famed UK comic publisher 2000 AD, gaining access to hundreds of intellectual properties, including Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Halo Jones.

The first fruits of the deal came with 2003’s PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC game Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death, while Rogue Trooper, released in 2006 for the same platforms, has been its most successful comic-to-game transition. Rebellion’s development headcount grew considerably with the purchase of Eidos’ Core Design, and Empire Interactive’s Strangelite in 2006, and Ignition’s Awesome Developments in spring 2007.

The Kingsley brothers also set up book publisher Abbadon, currently dormant film production company Fearnort and have a controlling share in Oxford-based motion capture studio Audio Motion. More recently Jason has again enjoyed exceptional success with Fox and Sega with the release of the new Aliens V Predators. In March of this year Jason announced the creation of a social division within rebellion responsible for creating games for Facebook and other social media outlets.