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 Great British Winter Game Jam

Great British Winter Game JamLondon games studio Space Ape Games, have announced the Great British Winter Game Jam.

Held on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November 2014, the Game Jam is a team-based event taking place at Space Ape’s studio’s in Soho Square, London. The competition is open to anyone, and teams of up to 5 participants can enter via http://tgbwgj.eventbrite.com. There are a maximum of 50 tickets up for grabs, which means that 10 teams can get through to the weekend session.

Space Ape Games are very excited to confirm the judging panel for the Jam, industry veterans David Gardner OBE and Miles Jacobson OBE, along with award winning scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett. The theme for the Game Jam will be revealed on the first day of the competition, and judging will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 30th November.

The winning team will take home Unity 5 Pro licenses for each member of the team, with additional prizes being announced over the coming weeks. More importantly, everyone that takes part will get to spend time with the judges and have their games showcased to the London Indie community. Teams will need to bring their own equipment such as laptops, mobile devices and phones.

London is host to an impressive game dev community. Space Ape is pleased to bring them together for a weekend of fun, collaboration and healthy competition in the spirit of previous Game Jams such as The Great British Summer Game Jam earlier this year
For more information about The Great British Winter Game Jam, check out the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/GBWGameJam. Information about Space Ape Games as well as career opportunities at the studio are available at www.spaceapegames.com

Train2Game News: 9 tips for getting a games industry job

Miles JacobsonSports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson offers advice in this blog on getting a foot in the game industry.

Here at SI the whole area of job applications is something which is very much at the front of our minds at the moment as we’ve just publicised roughly 20 new positions and we’ve been dealing with what can only be described as a torrent of applications ever since.

Here are some learnings we’ve had from this process.

1. Make sure you have both a covering letter and CV – or at least put some text into your email about why you want the role. I was very surprised how many people just sent a CV with a blank email. Which brings me nicely onto…

2. Stand out from the crowd

Getting a job in any business is difficult. Getting a job in a business that’s perceived to be as exciting and (dare I say it) glamorous as games is very difficult indeed. Before you can even think about getting a job, though, you have to get your face in front of the people who are doing the hiring, and to do this you’ll have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

In our most recent round of recruitment we had more than 500 applications for what were two relatively junior positions. These came from a massive variety of candidates, but one thing they had in common was that most kicked off by saying how much they loved our game/company and how it was their life’s ambition to work for us. That’s very nice to hear, of course, but you have to understand that if you’re saying it then everyone else is probably saying it too.

There’s simply no way that any employer can take the time to meet everyone that applies for a position, so try to find something that makes your application stand out from the crowd. This won’t get you the job, but it may just get you an interview.

3. Pay attention

All employers have their own methods for hiring new staff, but most will kick off the process in a similar fashion – by sifting through the initial applications in an attempt to reduce the list of candidates under consideration to a manageable number.

In other words, most employers will start off by looking for an excuse to remove as many candidates as they can from the ‘possible’ pile. One easy way to do this is to remove any candidates who didn’t read the job ad properly. So read it once, then read it again and make sure that you deliver everything that’s asked for – and that it’s appropriate for your current skill levels. A DBA is not someone who enters details about footballers into a database, for example.

4. And pay attention to detail

Another ‘easy win’ for employers looking to reduce their workload is a sloppily-presented CV. If your CV is riddled with spelling errors, missing vital information or just badly presented then you’ll be unlikely to make it past stage one.

On its own your CV is unlikely to get you a job… but it could very easily lose you one.

5. Don’t say it… show it

Modern technology offers job seekers so many ways to showcase their abilities that a well-written and well presented CV on its own may not be enough. If you’re really keen on getting into a creative industry, then take some of the opportunities that are open to you to demonstrate your creativity.

For programming positions, let us know where we can see a demo of some of your work – or detail of the kind of work you’ve been doing. Artists or animators need a link to a portfolio. QA roles should point out some issues with our last title, and potential solutions. We don’t have designer roles at the studio, but would expect the same as the QA roles would be a good way to get someone to take notice.

On the comms side of things (which more and more developers have in-house nowadays), write a blog, set up a YouTube channel or even just maintain an active Twitter account. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something to show that you not only have ideas, but that you also have the initiative to express them

6. Do your research

The internet is a bonus to any employer as it allows them to do a little background research on any prospective candidate before they even meet. That, however, works both ways. If you do manage to make it past stage one and find yourself invited in for interview, make sure that you know every piece of publicly-available information on your prospective employer. If you don’t, one of your competitors will.

Also make sure that you’ve cleared your social networks of any idiocy. Or, even better, don’t be an idiot in the first place. Some of the applicants for our current open roles are people who have been banned from our forums or social networking platforms (which aren’t easy to get banned from) and when we’re looking for people to not interview, those come very high in that pile.

7. Be prepared

If applying for a programming position, it’s likely that you are going to have a programming test at some point. If the studio is advertising C++ positions, and you’ve been using C# for the last couple of years, brush up on your C++.

And always answer the way that you think is the right way to do it, not necessarily what you learnt at school/university. Often with the programming tests there is more than one answer, and they are more tests to find out how you approach issues.

8. Be yourself

When you do eventually find yourself face-to-face with a prospective employer, don’t try to be the person that you think they’re looking for… just be yourself. After all, it was you who impressed them enough to get you to the interviewee’s chair, so why be someone different now?

9. And finally….

Apply for roles at studios whose work you admire and want to be part of. Passion for what you’ll be working on (even if it’s the tech, and not the games) is very important – if you don’t have passion for the work, you may as well get a job doing programming outside of the game industry as you’ll likely make more money that way…

That’s probably enough to start with. Best of luck with your job hunt.

Source: Develop – written by Miles Jacobson

Train2Game News: Train2Game Student running for SpecialEffect

Wahib Yousaf meets Miles Jacobson

Wahib on the right and Miles Jacobson in the middle

Train2Game student, Wahib Yousaf, is going to run for SpecialEffect in the British 10k in London this year. There is still time for you to sign up and join Wahib!

Wahib has been a Train2Game QA student since February 2012. Since joining the course Wahib has made sure to put himself out there and network as much as possible. He has a desire to make a real impact on the games industry and has decided the best way to start is to network with some of the games industry big hitters.

He also contributed to the ‘From Bedrooms To Billions’ IndieGogo campaign last year and one of the perks was an invitation by Creative Director of the ‘Football Manager’ series, Miles Jacobson, to come down to the S.I Games developers’ studio, meet their team and take part in a Q&A session. It was during this conversation that Miles Jacobson informed Wahib that he was a SpecialEffect ambassador.

On hearing about SpecialEffect, Wahib researched the charity and was moved by what he saw. Last December he made a sizeable donation and after reading about the SpecialEffect run on the Train2Game blog he saw another way in which he could help.

When asked why Wahib decided to run for the charity he said “It’s a Gaming Charity and I get to wear a costume! So, I have started doing 10K Training at my local Virgin-Active gym and endurance training every week for 30 minutes”

The costume that Wahib is so excited to be wearing during the run is his Assassin’s Creed 3 Connor Kenway CosPlay he wore previously to Excels’ Comic Con Expo last year. During the run Wahib will be running with the Flintock Musket and Tomahawk replicas that the character uses through the game.

If you want to run with Wahib and the SpecialEffect team you can still sign up by going to https://www.eventelephant.com/ee/events/pages/summary.htm?siteurl=specialeffect2013

You can watch a quick promotional video on the event below:

If you would like to sponsor Wahib and help him get to his goal of £200 you can do so by going to http://www.justgiving.com/wahib-yousaf

Train2Game wishes Wahib all the luck in running for SpecialEffect and hope he has a great time in doing it!

Football Manager 2011 Revealed!

Football Manager 2011Sports Interactive have announced that Football Manager 2011 will be released before Christmas this year.

Football Manager 2011 will feature more new features than ever before, including real-time contract negotiation, a revamped training system, match engine improvements and a ‘dynamic league reputation’ system.

For the first time ever, Football Manager 2011 players will be able to negotiate contracts with players in real time. Sports Interactive have been working real-life football agents, to gain an  insight as to how these negotiations can be made as realistic as possible in Football Manager 2011. Different agents will have different personalities, and therefore players will need to work differently with each one to succeed with Football Manager 2011.

The training system has also been revamped for Football Manager 2011 with athere is a new “match preparation” area of training so that managers can give their team specific areas to focus on in the lead up to a match. There are also more basic training schedules for players, and 14 different individual skill areas that you can focus your players on.  So no more having to spend hours tweaking schedules in Football Manager 2011 eh? Sports Interactive Studio Director Miles Jacobson says the training system hasn’t been changed before, because they couldn’t think of a way to improve it!

“At Sports Interactive, we always strive to give the end-user the best experience possible, the training system for example has always been the best we thought it could be, until now. We’ve found a way to make it even better!”

Interaction with players, staff and the board have also been improved for Football Manager 2011.

The 3D Match Engine of Football Manager 2011 has also been tweaked, with over 100 new animations added, as well as more player emotions, new player models, new stadiums, pitch textures, improved lighting, floodlit night matches, more goal celebrations and lots of other extras which improve the latest episode in the successful Football Manager series.

The other new features in Football Manager 2011 announced by Sports Interactive include a revamped media module, which will keep the managers better up to date with events going on in their football world.

The much requested dynamic league reputation will provide Football Manager 2011 with an even more realistic model of the footballing world.

Anyhow, enough with the text, for more information about the new Features in Football Manager 2011, Miles Jacobson explains them in the video below (While also showing off his collection of t-shirts)

So Train2Game, are you a Football Manager fan? Will you be rushing out to test your skills with Football Manager 2011? And does anyone have any horrific tales of addiction? (Like I was when I was at university!)

You can leave your thoughts on Football Manager 2011 here or on the Train2Game forum.