Train2Game News MMO Game Engine on Steam

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Neojac Entertainment, a Calgary-based game development company, today launched their Atavism game engine on Steam.

Atavism opens up the development of 3D virtual online worlds and Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) to everyone regardless of programming knowledge or artistic ability. Integrated with the Unity engine as the client, developers now have direct access to one of the highest anticipated MMORPG engines on the market.

“Atavism allows game designers to focus on making their game and to not worry about programming,” said Neojac CEO Jacques Rossouw. “In fact many of our clients have been able to have a prototype within a matter of weeks. You don’t need to have a million dollar budget any more to develop an MMO game. Our team, along with Unity, has already done most of the heavy lifting with pre-designed plugins for every system. All you need to do is setup what stats you want to use with them.”

The Atavism engine received it’s greenlight from Steam late last year. It is available for $70 and can be accessed via Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/335930/. You can get a discount of 15% in the first two weeks on Steam.

Many games are already in development using the engine, including Neojac’s own Neo’s Land, a high fantasy MMORPG that allows players to literally build the game world by creating their own dungeons, houses and other structures via the game’s unique building editor and through round table discussions with the development team. Early access to the game is available at www.neojac.com.

Several other game studios are already using the Atavism engine with successful results. “We’ve used other multiplayer engines made for Unity, but nothing compared to Atavism,” said Terrence Thompson, CEO of Space Dwarves Entertainment and the creators of Bionic Marine Commander Online. “Atavism provides an ease of use and level of support that is excellent. We’ve taken our game much further in the four months using Atavism than we have in years using the other engines.” Early access for the game is available at http://bionicmarinecommand.com.

Atavism also provides support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets. You can learn more about Atavism at www.atavismonline.com.

Train2Game News: Jagex supporting SpecialEffect GameBlast

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Jagex Games Studio, makers of the multi-award winning fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape, is to host a 24-hour long marathon in support of the games charity SpecialEffect’s inaugural GameBlast weekend.

The challenge, to be held at Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, will take place from 1pm GMT on Friday 21st February and will see staff and selected members of the RuneScape community play RuneScape and Ace of Spades throughout the 24-hour period. The event will also be live-streamed throughout via the official RuneScape and Ace of Spades twitch.tv channels, which will also include interviews with the RuneScape development team.

In addition to holding the marathon, Jagex will be running in-game events within RuneScape. Following a recent player vote, there will be Double XP for players during the GameBlast weekend. The Well of Goodwill, which saw players raise tens of thousands of pounds for a number of charities at the end of 2013, will re-open for a short time only. Players will also be able to purchase a virtual GameBlast tunic for their avatars, with all proceeds donated to SpecialEffect. During the GameBlast weekend, 50 percent of all profits from sales of Ace of Spades will be donated to SpecialEffect.

“Jagex has long supported numerous charities close to our heart, and we are thrilled to be able to continue our strong relationship with SpecialEffect by taking part in the inaugural GameBlast,” said Neil McClarty, Brand Director for RuneScape. “Our community truly are fantastic, and their generosity during our most recent charity campaign saw hundreds of billions of gold pieces and Bonds converted into real-world cash for good causes, including SpecialEffect. The weekend is shaping up to be big with lots planned including live streams and players recently voted to celebrate with double XP available all weekend, this is one not miss.”

“SpecialEffect does fantastic work to level the playing field between abled and disabled gamers, and Jagex is excited to continue supporting the organisation’s efforts by participating in GameBlast,” said Rob Kinder, Brand Director for Ace of Spades. “Getting the Ace of Spades community together for a 24-hour marathon gaming session while raising money for charity at the same time is the perfect way to start the weekend, and we can’t wait for the event to kick off!”

“We’re absolutely delighted that Jagex are going to play a huge part in GameBlast. We’re already indebted to them for the wonderful support they gave us in 2013 through their Well of Goodwill, and to have their involvement in this weekend of gaming is fantastic,” said Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and Director of SpecialEffect. “There are thousands of people in the world that want to share our passion for video games, but their disabilities stop them playing any of the titles we love. The sponsorship that the Jagex players and staff raise through their marathon will help us to bring magic moments and opportunities for inclusion into many, many more lives.”

Train2Game News: Shining Force MMO

Shining ForceunFun Games, creator of the longest-running MMO series “First Star Online” is releasing Shining Force Online this Thursday evening.

This is a free fan-made MMO created because of a message board post lead developer R. Mulvany saw 8 months ago.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next”, says Mulvany. “I thought about doing a remake. I heard about the Sonic 2 fan remake being shut down and that was a shame – it looked fantastic. I was googling about and found a Shining Force fansite where – years ago, they tried to make a Shining Force MMO. This wasn’t the only attempt. Searching, I found 6 other tries that also never happened. Maybe it was cursed, I don’t know, but I wanted to take a crack at it.”

Shining Force Online will be one of the launch titles on Arcade County, a free gaming site from unFun Games which features some of the most unique web games around. You won’t find any tower defense or Angry Birds ripoffs there. It’s all about doing things no one has thought of before.

Shining Force Online will release this coming Thursday 28 November in beta form. The world will not be complete, but there will be 100+ maps and a good deal of quests. Mulvany warns that there will most likely be growing pains and a potential server wipe if exploits are discovered.

“This is a very story-driven game. You will play through a story complete with cutscenes, character that die, and twists along the way. We won’t have the entire game ready at launch. We’ll be in beta for a few months. The way the engine works – we’ll open up new worlds and content literally on a daily basis. Even if you don’t patch, it doesn’t mean we didn’t add tons of content while you were away.”

Players will only need to create an account on www.arcadecounty.com in order to play Shining Force Online. The game can be played on the web or via a downloadable game client for PC, with a Mac version coming in a few weeks.

To learn more about Shining Force Online, check out the game’s page at: http://www.arcadecounty.com/games/shiningforceonline

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 09.01.13

Xerneas and YvetalThe first news in this weeks Train2Game Mid-Week round up is a follow up to the Pokémon news from yesterday. The two legendary creatures that are briefly seen in the trailer have been named. They are Xerneas and Yveltal.

Video games had the highest total amount pledged out of all other categories on Kickstarter last year.  561,574 backers made 1.3 pledges totaling $83 million. Out of 2,796 video game projects launched, 911 were funded. Video games had almost double the amount of pledges than Films, the second most successful category. They make up nearly a quarter of Kickstarter’s total backers and total money pledged.

Valve have given the first glimpses of  what could be, the media named Steam Box. Code-named “Piston”, the system is still in a development stage and Xi3Coporation states the system will be “optimized for computer game play on large HD televisions”. The specifications have not been released yet, but will be built on Xi3′s Modular Computer chassis which is grapefruit sized, and will support both Steam and their recently released Big Picture mode.

Following the demise of City Of Heroes last year, Missing Worlds Media have decided to create a new superhero MMO, currently named Project Phoenix. Their aim is to build a Superhero game from the ground up and take what was successful from past games and build on it with new technology. If you are missing the super being you created, this could be one to keep an eye on.

Microsoft have sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date. The figure represents cumulative sales of Windows 8 including upgrades and sales to original equipment manufacturers for licensing. Windows 8 sales are following a similar trajectory to that seen with Windows 7, according to Windows chief marketing and financial officer Tami Reller. Microsoft also said that over 100 million apps were downloaded from the Windows Store in the two months following the digital distribution platform’s launch with Windows 8 and Windows RT. There are now more than 1,700 certified systems for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Train2Game News: Forsaken Competition

Forsaken Studios, who employ a few Train2Game students, has announced a new competition. This is the second competition from the studio.

The Embers of Caerus: Frozen Hell’s Crossing competition is very simple. Train2Game student and Forsaken tester Ollie Smith crossed the in game continent of Aaldnarech, he ran from Thaal on the western shore all the way to Nev on the eastern shore. We timed how long it took Ollie to run across the continent.

To win the competition, all you have to do is guess how long it took him in actual running time. The closest guess wins.

The winner will receive a Crucial 256GB M4, 2.5 inch Internal Solid State Drive. You can increase your chance of winning the hard drive by keeping a close eye on the Embers of Caerus social media pages on Facebook and Twitter, for this competition use the Twitter hashtag: #eocfrozenhell. You might get some hints towards the answer.

Forsaken studios is based in Texas, USA and was founded in 2011. It is responsible for the MMO Embers of Caerus.

Send your entry to competition@forsakenstudios.com and have a shot at winning this amazing solid state drive.

 
The competition is open as of now and remains open until 12pm GMT on Saturday the 10th of November 2012. The winner will be announced Sunday 11th of November 2012.

For more information and Terms & Conditions you can visit the site here.

Train2Game News: Xbox360’s first free-to-play MMO

The first free-to-play MMO is coming to Xbox360 next week. The game looks action packed, fun and very cute.

The game, Happy Wars, has been developed by ToyLogic who have previously assisted in the development of Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers Brawl. You can certainly see the Smash Bros. influences in this game.

The 30 player strategy/action title pits two teams of up to 15 players against each other as they attempt to lay siege to enemy castles and defend their terrain. Each player’s character will be completely customizable with thousands of items, including outfits, weapons, and shields. In addition to the large-scale multiplayer battles, the game will also feature an offline single-player campaign mode, co-op mode with computer-controlled adversaries and more.

You must be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber to get the game but it is free to download and play. You can purchase ‘Happy Tickets’ from within the game to spend in the in game shop.

Although the ToyLogic developed title is Xbox Live’s first foray into free-to-play, it isn’t planned to be the last. Signal Studios’ Ascend: New Gods will rely on micro-transactions for its money, and is set to launch next year.

The free-to-play business model has been long used in the mobile industry but this is the first time it has been used on an Xbox title. Time will show how it plays out.

You can watch the trailer for Happy Wars below:

Train2Game News: Guild Wars 2 holding server stress test next week

ArenaNet are holding a short beta test for Guild Wars 2 next week, as the MMO gears up for launch later this year.

The server stress test will take place on Wednesday 27th June from 6pm through to 10pm and is accessible for anyone who’s previously taken part in a Guild Wars 2 beta test.

Developers ArenaNet recently discussed the importance of testing in determining how fun their MMO sequel is.

There’s more beta testing news, and information on how it’s useful for developers and Train2Game students, here on The Train2Game Blog.  There’s more on Guild Wars 2 from ArenaNet and NCsoft  here

Will you be taking part in the Guild Wars 2 stress test? How important is this process in the development of MMOs?

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

Train2Game News: The Secret World holding open beta this weekend

The Secret World, the upcoming MMO based in a modern day setting is holding an open beta this weekend, which means you can get involved!

Funcom’s MMORPG sees players join one of three secret societies – the Illuminati, the Dragon or the Templars – as each faction battles for world domination, and you’ll be able to test it out for yourself from Friday 22nd June through to Monday 25th June.  You can sign up take part in The Secret World open beta here.

“This marks the first public opening of the massive, persistent player vs. player war zone where over two hundred players clash in adrenaline-fuelled battles for power and world domination! Stonehenge and Eldorado are also opening up, allowing smaller groups of players to fight for control over the power held within these legendary locations.” reads the announcement from Funcom.

“This is the final Beta Weekend before launch on July 3rd and we are ending with a bang. Everyone who has ever registered for The Secret World beta will get access to this final Beta Weekend. This is also true for anyone who has not registered yet but still registers by Friday, June 22nd.” they add.

There’s more beta testing news, and information on how it’s useful for developers and Train2Game students, here on The Train2Game Blog. There’s more about The Secret World here.

Will you be taking part in The Secret World open beta? Have you been part of one of the closed tests?

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

Train2Game News: Phantasy Star Online 2 open beta begins this week

Phantasy Star Online 2 enters open beta this week, and you can get involved.  You can sign up to take part in the beta test by downloading the game here.

Those taking part in the Phantasy Star Online 2 open beta, which begins on Thursday 21st June, will be able to reach Level 30 as the game is tested before its planned full release as a free-to-play title this summer on PC, PlayStation Vita and smartphones.

41,500 players took part in a test of SEGAs MMO last weekend producer Satoshi Sakai revealed, say Siliconera.

There’s more beta testing news, and information on how it’s useful for developers and Train2Game students, here on The Train2Game Blog.

Will you sign up to take part in the Phantasy Star Online 2 beta? Were you a fan of the original?

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

Train2Game News: The Secret World beta test takes place this weekend

The Secret World enters its third beta test this weekend, and there’s still time for Train2Game students to register to take part.

Funcom’s MMO is based in a modern day setting, and sees players join one of three secret societies – the Illuminati, the Dragon or the Templars – as each faction battles for world domination.  To register for a chance to take part to the upcoming beta weekend, visit http://www.thesecretworld.com/

The third beta test weekend will open up a region known as The Savage Coast, along with two dungeons The Polaris and Hell Rising, as Funcom look to gain feedback from beta testers.

“We are very encouraged by both the numbers of beta registrations and the positive feedback we are getting from our testers,” said Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas.

“The fact that so many gamers want to play ‘The Secret World’ combined with the high purchase intent among testers is something we consider a very positive indicator.”

There’s more beta testing news, and information on how it’s useful for developers and Train2Game students, here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on The Secret World? Have you taken part in any previous beta tests? Will you be taking part this weekend?

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