Train2Game News From Bedrooms to Billions out now

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“From Bedrooms To Billions” – a movie documenting the history of the UK games industry is OUT NOW exclusively at Europe’s Number One Retro Gaming Destination, Funstock.co.uk

After being successfully funded via Kickstarter the creators went on to develop a fascinating 150 minute in-depth journey told through interviews and archive footage featuring industry legends including Peter Molyneux, Ian Livingstone, David Perry, David Braben, Ben Daglish, Oliver Frey, Miles Jacobson, Jeff Minter and many more.

The movie tells the story of how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in shaping the billion dollar video games industry.

In addition to the original 150min documentary the Special Edition version (available on Blu-Ray and DVD) features over 150min of additional content, numerous game ‘making of’ features, industry stories and ‘making music on the C64’ features with Rob Hubbard and Fred Gray.

General Manager of Funstock.co.uk, Andy Pearson quoted:

“From Bedrooms to Billions is the definitive documentary on the UK video games industry. It features virtually every personality you can imagine from the golden age of gaming, with exclusive interviews shot for this movie. It is expertly crafted by veteran film makers with a strong passion for the games industry – and this passion shines through. It is an absolute MUST see for anyone with even the slightest interest in gaming. It’s a fascinating story, told by fascinating people.” Andy Pearson, General Manager, Funstock.co.uk

Visit here for more information:  http://www.funstock.co.uk/from-bedrooms-to-billions-home

Train2Game News Commando Kiwi Update

Commando KiwiTrain2Game Student Studio, Commando Kiwi, the winners of the 2012 Make Something Unreal Live competition are back and under new management!

Train2Game Student Adam Sherratt is now the head of Commando Kiwi and they have been working hard since we last heard from them.

After deciding that the project they had started following the Make Something Unreal Live contest was slightly more ambitious than they first anticipated they made the executive decision to start a new IP using the framework they had already created for there winning game at MSUL.

However, with life getting in the way, a few of the original Commando Kiwi members left on to new ventures which left the team struggling until Adam came up with a plan to revitalise the studio. Several of the team volunteered to be mentors at the recent Train2Game Game Jam which put them in excellent position to scout for new team members.

The studio was back up to eight members and ready to get to work on their next game.

When asked about the studios new project Adam said “The game is a 3rd person action adventure RPG style game with cinematic combat sequences that play very similarly to battles in final fantasy 7, 8 and 10. Our aim is to bring a console quality gaming experience to mobile. By using the unreal engine 3 we will be able to offer incredible visuals, a strong sound track and a great story to produce a truly immersive game world on mobile. Initially the game would be released on iOS for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch but if things go well we will port it over to Android too. If you follow Commando Kiwi on Facebook you will see we have just started to leak information and concept art and we have a new company logo.”

Now the next stage for Commando Kiwi is they will be displaying their game at Appsworld and Platform Expo this year to spread the word and receive feedback from the public to make the game as best as it can be. So if you are attending either event go and say hello and give them your support!

The studio is intending to start a Kickstarter campaign in the future as currently everything they are doing is having to come out of their own pockets and they want this game to be the best that it can be.

You can follow Commando Kiwi on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/comkiwi

Train2Game News GameLoading Rise of the Indies

GameLoadingGameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a feature documentary exploring the world of indie game developers – their craft, their games, their dreams, and how they have forever changed the landscape of games culture. The project is currently crowdfunding through Kickstarter to help complete post-production.

Filmmakers Lester Francois and Anna Brady have clocked over 100 hours of interviews with both high-profile and up-and-coming indie developers and industry figures from all over the world. The stories that feature in the documentary are only the tip of the iceberg, with the team currently offering an additional 23 videos on youtube, with more scheduled to be released regularly over the next few months. Popular videos include BitSummit in Kyoto, Dutch Game Garden and Mike Bithell – ‘Story and Gameplay’

The exclusive Member’s Section on their website features longer more in-depth interviews available to Backers. The member’s section is a great resource for indie devs and fans. Those wanting to be a member can do so by backing the kickstarter The Final Push.

GameLoading’s Kickstarter, which launched last week is on track to raise the $50,000 needed to fund post production. Featured on the kickstarter page is the new GameLoading trailer, which has been touching the hearts of audiences across the community. It offers a heartwarming and positive message about developer culture, despite the recent negativity in the industry.

GameLoading features interviews with Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), John Romero (Doom), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer), Alexander Bruce (Antichamber), Lucas Pope (Papers, Please), Richard Hofmeier (Cart Life), Phil Tibitoski (Octodad), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home), Christine Love (Analogue), Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone) and dozens more.

The film will demystify what goes into making a game, examine the processes of different studios and individuals, capture the excitement of industry events like PAX and GDC, ponder why we play and what success means, and explore where this art form has come from and where it may be going.

Train2Game News Sandbox Game Maker

Sandbox ChurchPlatinum Arts Sandbox Game Maker is now on Steam Greenlight and needs your positive votes to become available for all.

The game maker features in game editing, coop editing, dynamic lighting, crossplatform support and advanced networking with the goal of adding visual scripting and many more features. Users will be able to rapidly create games of many different genres and require little to no prior coding experience. Sandbox is available for Windows, Linux and Mac and is based on the Cube 2 Engine.

The developer, Mike, originally started the Project in 2007 because he wanted the kids in his before and afterschool program to be able to create more than just 2D art on the computers, he wanted them to be able to create worlds and stories. He wanted them to be able to unleash their imaginations and walk around in what they created. Mike ended up releasing the project online and it ended up taking off and now is being used worldwide.

Mike said “The project is free and open source and will always have a free and open source version but to help fund the development and new features a Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight Project has been started to help fund a commercial version. The commercial version would be too intensive graphically for schools but I’m hoping to port over a lot of the core features so that everyone can benefit if the commercial version is a success.”

You can view a whole list of the features at http://www.sandboxgamemaker.com/

To support the project on Greenlight visit http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=229323214

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio revisits Muir Halleron

Muir HalleronWe spoke to Muir a while ago when he had not long started the Train2Game course and now we have revisited him. Muir told us all about the work he does now with 22Cans forums.

You can listen to the interview here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1755384-train2game-student-muir-halleron-talks-to-t2g-radio-again

Or read the transcript below:

Hello I’m Muir Halleron, I’m taking the Train2Game developer course and I’m from Widnes.

Hiya Muir, how you doing?

I’m just fine thanks

Excellent! So what have you been up to since we last spoke?

Oh, loads of things! Since we last spoke; I’ve been to Eurogamer, I started making my own game but it’s very slow going. It’s basically an extreme in my spare time thing. I am also the forum moderators for not only Train2Game but also 22Cans on their steam forums.

Excellent. How did that come about?

Oh I backed GODUS on Kickstarter last December, became active in the forums and through that the community manager, Sam Van Tilburgh, approached me to become a moderator.

Excellent. So have you been enjoying it?

Yeah it’s fun! It can be a bit stressful at times and hectic, especially right after an update of the game, but yeah, I’m really enjoying it!

Very nice and do you get to hear some industry secrets that we’re not allowed to or anything?

Oh not really! I do get a bit of background information just pertaining to my moderator duties.

So have you always been a fan of 22Cans and Peter Molyneux?

I like Peter Molyneux’s Fable series. My first game of his that I actually played was Black & White, sadly I didn’t actually finish that game!

The important question is though, were you a good god or were you a bad god?

I was actually middle of the line!

Oh yeah? Tried to please everyone?

Yeah, straddle that fence!

So have you been finding that all this forum moderation will help you in the future with your career?

I’m hoping so yeah. It’s allowed me to see how things in the industry works a little bit and I’ve got a little bit of contact with a few of the devs on different social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Steam. They’ve been really nice and they answer questions that I have pertaining to the industry.

Excellent, that’s nice. Do you think you’ll perhaps get a job with them as well now that you’ve got contact with them?

That would be nice but they’re a little bit too far south for my tastes.

Oh yeah I forgot you live fairly north. So finally, what are you hoping for the future then?

Well in the future, I’m actually looking to relocate to Leeds because right now I live up near Liverpool but I’m wanting to move to Leeds because my boyfriends live there and with my Son being closer to my boyfriends would mean a bit more support with him so that I could actually get a job and not have to worry about being home to meet him after school.

Yeah that certainly would help a lot wouldn’t it.

Yeah. It’s my hope that once I move to Leeds and get settled in I’ll be able to get a job placement in a company over there.

Excellent well I wish you all the luck with that

Thank you

And I will talk to you again soon Muir!

Alright, thanks Mark.

Train2Game News: Video game pioneers book

BookCoverHewson Consultants Ltd has announced its upcoming Kickstarter campaign for a new book entitled Hints & Tips for Video game Pioneers.

The book’s author, Andrew Hewson, was the founder of Hewson Consultants (Uridium, Paradroid, Nebulus), 21st Century Entertainment (Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies) and the founding Chairman of United Kingdom trade body ELSPA (now known as UKIE).

The book will feature contributions from numerous industry icons, including Steve Turner, Nick Jones, Oliver Frey, Andreas Axelsson, Roger Kean, Stewart Gilray, and many more. What’s more, Kickstarter backers will have the opportunity to contribute to the book in a number of unique ways, including a backer’s interview section.

“When I started in the games industry with a ZX80 and a typewriter, it was an era of open platforms and cutting edge innovation,” Said Andrew Hewson, Founder of Hewson Consultants. He continued, “Today, thanks to digital distribution and the re-emergence of open platforms, we are returning to the kind of industry in which small creative teams can flourish. This book is an opportunity for me to share my experiences from two decades at the cutting edge of gaming with the industry pioneers of tomorrow.”

Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment forged reputations for releasing some of the most innovative and high quality titles of their era by discovering and fostering development legends like Raffaele Cecco (Exolon, Cybernoid), Andrew Braybrook (Uridium, Paradroid), John Phillips (Nebulus), Steve Turner (Avalon, Quazatron), Dominic Robinson (Zynaps) and the founders of DICE who launched their first games, Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies, through 21st Century Entertainment.

Hints and Tips for Video game Pioneers is about more than just the history of Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment, and it’s about more than just the games. It’s a book which digs beneath the surface to examine the forces which made those companies such prolific hit-producers, unearthing a rich tapestry of expertise for the new generation of bedroom coders. It’s a story of triumph and disaster, ecstasy and turmoil and perpetual market forces in an industry which is constantly reinventing itself.

This book would be a good read for any Train2Game students as it will be full of valuable information.

To make a donation visit the Kickstarter campaign.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 20.09.13

Andrew WilsonIt’s the end of the week so it is time for the industry news round up.

Electronic Arts’ exhaustive search for a new CEO led it to promote from within after all. The publisher today announced that executive VP of EA Sports Andrew Wilson is now the company’s CEO, replacing the seat left vacant by John Riccitiello’s resignation in March. EA executive chairman (and a former CEO of the company himself) Larry Probst will stay on as executive chairman for an undetermined length of time in order to assist Wilson with the transition to his new role.

Shinji Mikami, the father of survival horror, is back to direct The Evil Within, a game embodying the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story weave together to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC and is slated for release in 2014. A new trailer has been released for the game. If you are over eighteen and aren’t of a nervous disposition you can watch the trailer here, http://youtu.be/Z4WqOQTxisM

Blue Manchu is happy to announce that Card Hunter is finally available for all to play at www.cardhunter.com. Created in collaboration with legendary Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, Card Hunter is Irrational Games co-founder Jonathan Chey’s first game since BioShock. Its unique mix of card collecting, board gaming and fantasy role-playing is set to reinvigorate the collectible card gaming scene. Card Hunter is a free to play game.

Jasper Smith, CEO of PlayJam, the company behind the highly anticipated micro games console – GameStick, confirmed a Global on-sale release date for the device of Tuesday 29th October 2013. Retailers GameStop, GAME, and Amazon will partner for the launch with additional outlets in Canada, Europe and the Middle East receiving stock prior to the end of year Holiday season. The console, which broke onto the games scene in January of this year following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, has moved from paper to production in just 9 months.

Game Lab Social, a vibrant co-working space for creatives, is pleased to announce the opening of a new studio space in Leamington Spa designed to foster creativity, collaboration and knowledge sharing. As the vision of industry veterans Ollie Clarke and Steve Stopps and supported by Warwick District Council, Game Lab Social will open a space to work with local talent in specifically created workshops, on-site training and access to marketing, pitching and monetization expertise. Game Lab Social will also work to talent match, combining developer skills to create new development teams with the business infrastructure in place to support burgeoning talent, including graphic design, accounting and legal services.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 23.08.13

Batman Arkham OriginsIt’s the end of the week which means it’s time for the industry news round up!

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment unveiled a new trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins titled “Nowhere to Run.” The trailer showcases the indomitable super villains hell-bent on taking down the Bat and gives a first look at Firefly, one of the eight assassins featured in Batman: Arkham Origins, capable of raining fire from above. You can watch the Batman: Arkham Origins – Nowhere to Run – gameplay trailer here: http://youtu.be/gTQQaZm5Mzc

Continuing the superhero game theme, LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes are back, this time revealing the brick-building plot of the game, with an all-new new trailerAm! Do you have what it takes to destroy Dr. Doom and his Dr. Doom Doomray of Doom? Check out the awesome trailer (with a huge villain reveal) here: http://youtu.be/Nvpug0_-xAQ

It’s time to step back into the darkness. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the follow-up to the genre-defining horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is now available for pre-order with a 20-percent discount. From the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dear Esther comes a new first-person horror game that will drag you to the depths of greed, power and madness. It will bury its snout into your ribs and it will eat your heart. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is survival–horror at its most unsettling; helpless and alone, no weapons to soothe your nerves, and the dim light of your lantern to offer any comfort.

Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse is the fifth instalment in the adventure game franchise. It was kickstarted to give Revolution Software full control, giving them total freedom over the games look and feel. It is also the first Kickstarter project to be picked up by Sony to put on the Vita. The Serpent’s Curse will also be available on iOS, PC, Mac, Android and Linux and you can see an early trailer for the game, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3jQu1riTcYg

After years of Comic Book Movies, Publishers are really making a play for videogames to muscle in. EA have a Need for Speed movie starring Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad, and Ubsioft already have Michael Fassbender attached to Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy. Now they’re taking upcoming Watch_Dogs onto the big screen too, forming a partnership with Sony Pictures and New Regency. Video Games have a very hit and miss track record with going to movies and some are only good because they are so bad. With all these games going to Hollywood though, it shows games are being accepted more and more.

Train2Game News: Put a TARDIS in to orbit!

TARDISAs it is the middle of the week, which can be a depressing time, I have an interesting Kickstarter for you. How would you like to send a TARDIS in to Orbit?

2013 is the 50 year anniversary of Doctor Who and so a group of fans have built a small TARDIS to be sent up in to Earth’s Lower Orbit.

They are not talking about sticking a little, plastic TARDIS on top of a model rocket and shooting it really high into the sky and they’re not going to tie a TARDIS to a weather balloon, no, they are putting a TARDIS into the payload bay of a real, actual, honest-to-goodness, rocket, and launching it into a Low Earth Orbit.

This is not a joke, this is being carried out!

The TARDIS it’s self is already built and was created using memorabilia from the show, a blue print of the TARDIS.

The satellite is constructed from really light weight aluminum and it is a scaled-down version of the actual TARDIS. Our satellite is only about 1 foot tall, however, the light on top functions, powered by solar cells in the windows.

Housed within the box is a camera, a GoPro Hero 3, regularly recharged by the solar panels, which will take photos of the Earth from orbit. A magnetic, passive attitude control system is in place which will keep the TARDIS’s camera pointing toward the planet. All the images taken will be stored on SSDs as HDD’s don’t work in Zero Gravity.

The Kickstarter has already reached it’s funding goal so will definitely be launched but there are still a few days left to pledge.

The more money they get the bigger they can make the TARDIS!

As with most Kickstarter campaigns there are backer rewards. If you back this project; not only will you know that you helped put a TARDIS in to space; but you will also be able to send up personal information about your self on the SDD cards, letting anyone know who finds it, years in to the future, that you once walked the planet!

This is one of the craziest projects I have ever seen on Kickstarter but also one of the most interesting. The limits of Kickstarter truly know no bounds!

You can pledge and find out more by going to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/573935592/were-putting-a-tardis-into-orbit-really

Train2Game News: OpenWheel Kickstarter

OpenWheelA Train2Game Student; Laurence Gee, has begun working full time with games developer Brain in a Jar who have started an initiative to receive funding through Kickstarter for their latest game; OpenWheel.

Laurence joins the company as a full time employee to help develop OpenWheel and the company are requesting further support from the Train2Game community to make the game a reality. Laurence joined Brain in a Jar in February of 2011 on a Train2Game work placement scheme and he is now happily in full time employment as a 3D artist in the studio.

Brain in a Jar, has been developing racing games since 1998 and are based right next to Oulton Park race track in Cheshire. Racing is built in to the very foundation of the company. The company has worked on big games like Indycar and NASCAR, independent games of its own and has worked with some great developers on AAA games like: Driver: San Francisco and Need For Speed.

OpenWheel is an online multiplayer racing game which is fully customisable. There are no static 2D lobby screens to sit in waiting for a race to start. Once you have chosen your chassis and the track you want to race on you are taken straight into the action, you can even join mid-race. You can define, create and run your own global championships, or join existing ones. Become your own FIA and create a world championship for your friends and the best racers to come and compete in.

This is truly an immersive, passion filled racing game created by fans of high speed racing. The game is a fantastic concept with hours of playability and Brain in a Jar deserve all the pledges they can get on Kickstarter.

If you would like to pledge and view there great video, you can do so by going to www.kickstarter.com/projects/braininajar/openwheel

If you want to found out more about the studio go to www.braininajar.co.uk