Train2Game E3 news: Sony offer the hardcore

PlayStation VitaWhile the Train2Game blog reported that Microsoft’s conference focused on Kinect and the more casual audience, Sony very much focused on the core audience.

The biggest news to come from the event – despite the being leaked beforehand – were details on Sony’s new handheld, the PlayStation Vita, previously known to Train2Game blog readers at the NGP.

The news was confirmed by Sony CEO and Exeuctive Vice President Kaz Hirai who not only revealed the official name for the PS Vita, but also that the handheld console will launch in time for Christmas.  Two models will be available, a Wi-Fi only version of PS Vita for €249, while a Wi-Fi and 3G version will retail for €299. There are no UK specific prices as of yet.

“PlayStation Vita will revolutionise the portable entertainment experience,” said Hirai. “It gives you the most complete entertainment package in the palm of your hands.”

Sony confirmed that there are ‘more than 80 titles’ in development for the PS Vita, with big name titles including Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, Bioshock and a handheld version of Street Fighter vs. Tekken. Train2Game students may very well be excited by the hardcore nature of games for Sony’s handheld.

The Sony E3 conference also saw the company push their other new technology: 3D Television and specifically 3D gaming.  The company revealed a (relatively when compared to others) low cost PlayStation branded 3D TV with a 24 inch monitor. The PlayStation TV will allow two players to see separate images on a full screen.

The PlayStation branded 3D TV will cost $499, with the price including cables, 3D glasses and Resistance 3.  Sony obviously have a vested interested in 3D – given that they produce the televisions! – but earlier this month proclaimed that Uncharted 3 will be a huge step towards gaming becoming mainstream, as reported by the Train2Game blog.

Bioshock Infinite will be PS Move compatible

Uncharted 3 was one of a number of PlayStation exclusive titles that was demonstrated during the Sony show.  God of War and Team Ico HD collections were dated for later this year, while Sly Cooper will also return after a seven year absence.

Sony’s conference however wasn’t completely free of motion control news, with PlayStation Move implementation being announced for a number of titles.  Perhaps most sensationally, Irrational Games KenLevine himself revealed that Bioshock: Infinite will be PlayStation Move compatible.

The development came after Levine had previously criticised motion control. Unfortunately, there are no details as of yet how Bioshock: Infinite will use PlayStation Move.

Sony also revealed that LittleBigPlanet 2 – a game that many Train2Game students should be familiar with – will receive ‘deeper integration’ for PlayStation Move later this year.  SCEA boss Jack Tretton said that the Move controller will be able to be used to both create and play LittleBigPlanet 2 levels, but didn’t reveal how this would be done.

And in other Sony news, it’s been revealed that in a world first, Eve-connected shooter Dust 514 will be a download only PlayStation 3 exclusive that’s free to play.  The Triple-A title will be connected to PC game Eve in real time and it’ll be supported by a microtransaction based system.

“The ability for Sony Computer Entertainment to partner with a developer like CCP, known for pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation in the MMO genre, holds tremendous potential for the PlayStation 3 community,” said SCEA SVP Rob Dyer.

“We anticipate that Dust 514 will transform the landscape across PlayStation 3 and the PC, ushering in a new era of shared cross platform gaming.”

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Sony conference? Are you pleased with the focus on the hardcore? Are you impressed by the PlayStation Vita or PlayStation monitor? How do you think Bioshock: Infinite will implement move? And are you interested by the free Dust 514?

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

UK Charts: LittleBigPlanet 2 debuts at Number 1

LittleBigPlanet 2, the almost essential game for Train2Game students, has climbed to the top of the UK Charts on just its first week on sale.

LittleBigPlanet 2 was released on Friday and has proved popular amongst the Train2Game Facebook community. It marks Media Molecules’ first ever GFK Chart-Track All formats Number 1, and trumps the original games highest position of Number 4 when it was released towards the end of 2008.

The PlayStation 3 exclusive has not only been more popular in its first week than that of its original, but has already smashed the online user count of LittleBigPlanet 2.

The other big release of the week was the PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2 which means the EA title climbs to Number 7 in this weeks chart.

LittleBigPlanet2s rise to Number 1 means Call of Duty: Black Ops drops to Number 2.  That prevents the Activision giant from equalling Modern Warfare 2s total of eight weeks at Number 1…at least for now.

Elsewhere in the chart, Just Dance 2 remains in Number 3 while FIFA 11 drops two places to Number 4.  Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood moves up two to Number 5, Wii Fit Plus drops two to Number 6, while as mentioned above, Mass Effect 2 takes Number 7.

The top ten is completed by Kinect Sports, former Number 1 Gran Turismo 5 and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. DC Universe online and Fallout: New Vegas both drop of the top ten.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending January 22th 2011 is as follows:

1.       LittleBigPlanet 2 (Sony)

2.       Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)

3.       Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)

4.       FIFA 11 (EA)

5.       Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)

6.       Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)

7.       Mass Effect 2 (EA)

8.       Kinect Sports (Microsoft)

9.       Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)

10.   Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)

The big release of the coming week is Dead Space 2 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on LittleBigPlanet 2s Number 1? Are you surprised it has been so successful? Will it hold onto the top spot next week? Could Dead Space 2 claim it next week, or will it go back to Call of Duty: Black Ops?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2010 UKIELtd” ]

Big day for Train2Game students as LittleBigPlanet 2 released

LittleBigPlanet 2 has been released today and it’s a day that many Train2Game students have been waiting for.

The good news for those Train2Game students looking forward to the game is that, as the Train2Game Blog reported earlier this month, LittleBigPlanet 2 has got very high review scores with a lot of 9s and 10s.

While LittleBigPlanet 2 is a fun game in its own right, Train2Game students will be most interested community creation aspect of LittleBigPlanet 2 which allows them to not only let their creative juices flow by creating new levels, but also entirely new games.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of great community created levels during the beta test including reimagining’s of Portal, Flower, Wolvenstein and Dogfight. There will no doubt also be plenty of excellent and unique community created levels that all LittleBigPlanet 2 players will get the opportunity to try out if they choose to do so.

Not only that,  but Media Molecule do hire aspiring game developers who’ve used the community tools to make outstanding levels. It’s something that any Train2Game student who builds LittleBigPlanet 2 levels will be aspiring to achieve too!

John Beech is now a Level Designer at Media Molecule, after first having his community design work spotted by the studio.  Until then he was a self employed builder.

At the Learning Without Frontiers Event in London, Media Molecule revealed that they’ve already hired five people who’ve made outstanding levels using the LittleBigPlanet creation tools. Studio art director Kareem Ettouney also said that Media Molecule is open to hiring more community developers.

Hence this is the reason why a Train2Game student looking for something to practice their skills with could do very well out of using LittleBigPlanet 2.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is now available for the PlayStation 3, and of course any Train2Game students who own that particular console!

For another example of how Train2Game student community development could lead to good things, see yesterdays Train2Game blog post about the Starcraft II modder offered a job by a Games Development studio.

So Train2Game, are you getting LittleBigPlanet 2 today?  Have you actually already bought it? And do you think you’ll be trying your hand and creating community levels?

As usual, leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source for LWF event: Develop Online]

LittleBigPlanet 2 review scores are in, Train2Game students take note!

LittleBigPlanet 2

Reviews for LittleBigPlanet 2 – the game that all Train2Game students should be interested in – have started to appear online and the good news for is that it’s apparently fantastic.

Plenty of 9 and 10 scores indicate that LittleBigPlanet 2 is a must have, and of course this is even more the case for Train2Game students looking for future careers in the industry. Why? Well, because developers Media Molecule have previously revealed that they’ve hired people who’ve made excellent levels using the original games community creation tools.

With LittleBigPlanet 2 offering even more in the community creation department, the fact that it has seemingly been implemented in an even better and more diverse way than the first game really will get Train2Game students creative juices flowing. In fact, in Eurogamers’ 9/10 review, they say the new features in LittleBigPlanet 2 are invaluable to aspiring Games Designers:

“The key here is flexibility. The boundaries of game creation have been significantly widened in the sequel, so that creating a side-scrolling shoot-’em-up or a top-down twin-stick shooter, or even building a makeshift musical instrument is less a case of working around the toolset than working with it. For budding game designers, the overhaul is invaluable.”

Meanwhile, CVG give LittleBigPlanet 2 a massive 9.4 and say the simpler tools offer loads of opportunity for creation:

“LBP1 virtuosos will find plenty here to justify a purchase, if they can tear themselves away from the now-established classic they’ve invested such time in.

But for those who harboured a wealth of affection – if not expertise – for Media Molecule’s first game, LittleBigPlanet 2 truly offers a whole new world of opportunity.”

Other big scores in reviews for LittleBigPlanet 2 come from NowGamer and IGN which give the game a perfect 10 and a 9 respectively. The reviews really do suggest that LittleBigPlanet 2 is a must own game for Train2Game students.

The sky really seems to be the limit when it comes to creating not only whole new levels, but whole new games using the LittleBigPlanet 2 creation tools, as can be seen in a number of past posts on the Train2Game blog.

We’ve seen classic first person shooter Wolvenstein 3D recreated using LittleBigPlanet 2, and also a different type of shooter in Sackfighter Dogfight.  The advanced nature of the creation tools available to any Train2Game student who invests in LittleBigPlanet 2 are also evident in a recreation of Portal and a remake of indie game Flower.

Train2Game students can start making their own creations in LittleBigPlanet 2 when it’s released  for the PlayStation 3 on January 21st.

So Train2Game, what do you think about the LittleBigPlanet 2 review scores? Are they higher or lower than expected? Will you be making levels using the creation tools?

You can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Wolfenstein 3D level shows more creative potential for Train2Game designers

LittleBigPlanet 2 Train2Game

Yet more evidence has emerged that shows how LittleBigPlanet 2 has the potential to be one massive game development playground for Train2Game students.

Video footage from the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta has emerged that shows how one user, RAPHAEI, has recreated a level from Wolfenstein 3D.  This newly designed level – suitably called Sackenstein 3D – isn’t just a 2D LittleBigPlanet level with some art taken from Wolfenstein 3D, it’s a fully working first person shooter in its own right!

And this recreation Wolfenstein 3D isn’t an on the rails affair like the Vietnam First Person Shooter that was shown on the Train2Game blog earlier in the year, this time, you can actually move your character around.

Train2Game students can see Sackenstein 3D in action by watching the video below.

This is just the latest in a long line of videos that show how LittleBigPlanet 2 could provide an excellent tool set for Train2Game students to use and practice their Game Design skills. Train2Game students will be able to use the creation tools in LittleBigPlanet 2 to not only build their own levels, but build there own games with the video above being a prominent example of the latter.

Other examples of user made levels that Train2Game students may take an interest in looking at include a recreation of Portal and classic game Dogfight, both remade using LittleBigPlanet 2. RAPHAEI has also been responsible for creating a version of PSN Indie game Flower with the design tools in Media Molecules beta, which Train2Game students should also look at as an example they could follow.

Creating levels using LittleBigPlanet 2 really is something Train2Game Games Designers should give thought to, because as the Train2Game Blog has previously mentioned, developers Media Molecule have hired budding game designers based on the levels they’ve created for LittleBigPlanet.

Train2Game students may also find that this Train2Game blog post about the development of Sackboy provides interesting reading.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is set for release for the PlayStation 3 on January 18th. Media Molecule recently revealed a checklist of things that still need to be done before then, which Train2Game students can see it here.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the latest LittleBigPlanet 2 beta video? Could you see yourself using the skills you’ve developed to build an exciting and interesting custom level? Will you be purchasing LittleBigPlanet on day one?

You can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

More details about LittleBigPlanet 2 revealed

LittleBigPlanet 2 collectors edition

Media Molecule has revealed a checklist of things to do before the game that every Train2Game Games Designer should be interested in is released next month– LittleBigPlanet 2.

The US PlayStation Blog shows the full checklist of things Media Molecule have and haven’t done ahead of LittleBigPlanet’s release. It gives a little insight to Train2Game students to things away from games development that need to be completed before a new console title is released.

The final box art for both the standard and special editions has been done, and that smiling image of Sackboy you see above this Train2Game blog is what will be hitting store shelves in January. LittleBigPlanet 2 now also has its ERSB rating confirmed as E for Everyone. Be warned, the game contains comic mischief and mild cartoon violence!

Sackboy will no doubt be pleased LittleBigPlanet 2 contains only mild cartoon violence, given that during development of the original game, he was supposed to die in much more violent ways! You can read more about the development of Sackboy in this Train2Game blog post from November.

The US PlayStation Blog also reveals that a LittleBigPlanet 2 demo will be with us shortly. It’s currently being prepared and from December 22nd Train2Game students will be able to try out a little taster of the game.

We’re also shown that a Kevin Butler advert for LittleBigPlanet 2 is in the works, there’s a Sackboy costume and you’ll even be able to wrap gifts up in LittleBigPlanet 2 wrapping paper. The LittleBigPlanet 2 in-store displays for retailers have also been finalised and are ready to roll out for the game’s release next month. (Be sure to check out Gabe’s Thoughts of Train2Game blog that examines what it takes for a game to be a success at retail)

There’s also a new video that shows some of the new features Train2Game students can expect in LittleBigPlanet 2, pins and voice acting, which you can see in full below.

LittleBigPlanet 2 surely is a must for any Train2Game student, given that the beta test has shown that players can really let their creative juices flow when it comes to not only creating new levels, but entirely new games! Highlights include reimagining for classic games including Dogfight and Street Fighter and even more recent games such as Portal. Media Molecule even has a track record of hiring community designers who’ve made excellent levels, so Train2Game students really should look into LittleBigPlanet 2!

LittleBigPlanet 2 is released for the PlayStation 3 on January 18th.

You can leave your thoughts about LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Controlinator Featurette

LittleBigPlanet 2

Media Molecule has released another trailer for LittleBigPlanet 2, and once again it introduces a new feature.

This latest trailer introduces The Controlinator, which is arguably looks like the most important new feature in LittleBigPlanet 2. It’s a new gadget that lets Sackboy steer and control any new creation or mechanical object in a variety of different ways. In LittleBigPlanet 2, the controlinator will let sackboy drive, race, dig and fly any creation. The controlinator looks to be a key feature not just in the creation of levels, but in making whole new games.

You can check out the 1960’s style science programme controlinator featurette below.

The controlinator is just one of many new features that has been added to LittleBigPlanet 2. Previously we’ve seen how the Creatinator will allow Sackboy to shoot or spawn any item, while Bounce Pads give him a whole new way to move around levels.

LittleBigPlanet 2 will also see the introduction of Sackbots, which can be used to help or hinder the player in community created levels.  The game is truly shaping up to offer players plenty of scope for creating not only unique levels, but whole new games.

Interesting creations we’ve seen during the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta test include re-imaginings of games from classics like Dogfight and Street Fighter, but also more recent titles including Portal.

Train2Game students would be well advised to pick up a copy of LittleBigPlanet 2, not only to help their creative juices flow, but because Media Molecule have a record of hiring community designers who’ve made outstanding levels.

You can get an insight into what working for LittleBigPlanet 2 creators Media Molecule is like, by taking a look at the development of Sackboy.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is scheduled for release on January 18th and will be PlayStation Move compatible.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the controlinator? Do you think it’s the biggest new addition (so far…) to LittleBigPlanet 2? How do you think you’ll use it?

You can leave your thoughts about LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Shoot ANYTHING from the LittleBigPlanet 2 Creatinator

LittleBigPlanet 2

A new LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer has revealed yet another awesome new feature in Media Molecule’s upcoming title… the Creatinator. The Creatinator may look like Sackboy is wearing a television camera on his head, but it’ll allow LittleBigPlanet players to spawn or shoot any item they want.

Tools, weapons, anything, and as the LittleBigPlanet 2 Creatinator trailer says ‘If you can make it, you can launch it’ You can check out the LittleBigPlanet 2 Creatinator trailer below:

The Creatinator is yet another new feature that will allow LittleBigPlanet 2 players to be as creative as they can imagine. It’s yet another example of why LittleBigPlanet 2 should be on any Train2Game students’ wish list.

The LittleBigPlanet 2 beta has already proved that community designers can be extremely creative, with a recreation of Street Fighter and a LittleBigPlanet First Person Shooter, a user created version of beautiful indie game Flower, and perhaps most impressively, a reimagining of Portal complete with Portal Gun, all appearing online.

The latest awesome level to appear online is a re-make of old school classic flying shooter Dogfight, made using LittleBigPlanet 2’s creation tools. You can see it below.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 3 on 18th January, as revealed at the end of this trailer. With Media Molecule having hired community designers, its definitely something that Train2Game students should be looking to invest in!

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the latest new LittleBigPlanet 2 feature? Do you think The Creatinator will be an exciting tool? What mad things would you fire out of it? And how impressive is that LittleBigPlanet 2 Dogfight video?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts on the latest addition to LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbot featurette reveals release date

LittleBigPlanet 2

Media Molecule has released a new LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer. It not only showcases the new Sackbots, but also reveals the new release date of LittleBigPlanet 2.

The LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots video begins with a scientist Sackboy bringing a Sackbot to life in the style of an old school horror movie, and using the in-game creation tool to choose its size. The LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots aren’t just going to be limited to lifeless robots though, with the video showing how the bots can look like regular Sackboys and girls.

The Sackbot featurette also shows how the little blighters could be used in LittleBigPlanet 2 custom levels. Sackbots can be programmed to be rescued, to run from Sackboy, to follow Sackboy, to patrol areas, and to act in cut scenes. Of course, they can dance too, and the LittleBigPlanet 2 featurette shows plenty of that in a Bollywood style ending!

You can see the LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots featurette for yourself below.

As the video reveals, LittleBigPlanet 2 is now set to be released on January 18th 2011 after being delayed in September. It’s a date that should be firmly penned in to Train2Game student diaries given the scope available for creating community levels. Portal, Flower and Street Fighter have all been recreated by LittleBigPlanet 2 beta testers, and Train2Game students no doubt have some ideas of their own.

Last week, Media Molecule told Develop that they’ve hired developers after being impressed by their custom LittleBigPlanet levels. If that isn’t an incentive for Train2Game students to invest in LittleBigPlanet 2, I don’t know what is!

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the LittleBigPlanet 2 Sackbots featurette? How would you implement them into your LittleBigPlanet 2 level? Will you pick up LittleBigPlanet 2 in January?

You can leave your thoughts on LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Media Molecule hire LittleBigPlanet community designers

LittleBigPlanet 2

Ever since LittleBigPlanet 2 was first mentioned here on the Train2Game blog, we’ve been trying to push home that the in-game creation tools could provide a Train2Game student with their big break in the industry. Now LittleBigPlanet 2 creators Media Molecule have revealed that the studio has hired developers after being impressed by their community designed levels.

John Beech is a level designer for the Sony Studio, and now uses his skills to help build LittleBigPlanet 2. Until a year ago, John was a self employed builder, but a builder who was good at designing user made LittleBigPlanet levels. Speaking in the latest issue of Games TM, Media Molecule Creative Director Mark Healey explains how the former builder ended up working on LittleBigPlanet 2.

“We’ve hired people from the community, people for whom LittleBigPlanet was their first chance to have a go at making games,” He said.

“John didn’t have a clue about how to make games but he got LittleBigPlanet, managed to alienate his girlfriend and was just making this stuff and really stood out in the community.”

Healey reveals that John isn’t the only member of the LittleBigPlanet community that has been hired by Media Molecule.  He added that he himself also skipped the academic route into the games industry

“I just taught myself, and I hated the idea that the only way to get into the games industry was through various degree courses.”

Media Molecule built LittleBigPlanet around the Ethos of ‘Play. Create. Share’ and the game is based upon the sharing of user generated content. There are many, many highly creative and excellent community built levels available to play.

Not only will LittleBigPlanet 2 continue to allow players to share their user-created levels, but it’ll also let players share entire games with fully formed stories and cut scenes. LittleBigPlanet 2 is currently in beta but plenty of excellent looking levels and games have appeared in videos online.

New games created within LittleBigPlanet 2 by the beta community so far include a recreation of Street Fighter and a LittleBigPlanet First Person Shooter, a user created version of beautiful indie game Flower, and perhaps most impressively, a reimagining of Portal complete with Portal Gun.

And these are only a handful of user generated levels created during the LittleBigPlanet 2 beta, what can we expect when LittleBigPlanet 2 is released for PlayStation 3 in January next year?

However, one thing is certain. Any Train2Game student with a desire to create games should get themselves a copy of LittleBigPlanet 2. Create great levels, and not only could they be played by a vast audience, but if Media Molecule like what you’re doing, you could find yourself working for them like John Beech.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Media Molecule hiring community developers? If you don’t own a PlayStation 3, are you tempted to get one for the chance LittleBigPlanet 2 could give you? And do you have any ideas for games or levels you want to create using the LittleBigPlanet  2 user creation tools?

Leave your thoughts about Media Molecule and LittleBigPlanet 2 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

(Source: Develop Online)