Train2Game News Nokia classic Snake on Facebook

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, brings the classic snake game up to date with augmented reality. Snake Mask and Snake Real World filters bring the iconic game to a new generation of fans.

The addictive premise of the game remains the same, but with a fun AR twist, fans can now be the apple-munching Snakes. Snake Mask utilises new Facebook AR technology to bring Snake to the widest audience possible.

Snake at the zoo? Snake at the beach? Snake… on a plane? Now it’s all possible when Snake is on Facebook camera. Plus, with Facebook Live integration, it’s straightforward to broadcast gameplay live to the Facebook news feed, allowing friends to join the action.

The all-new Snake Mask uses the front-facing camera of Nokia smartphones running Android™ to allow players to turn themselves into the iconic Snake character, reacting to the motion of the player’s face. Snake Real World activates the rear-facing camera.

To celebrate the release of the updated Nokia classic, comedian and YouTuber Matt Keck, the man behind the accidentally hilarious viral sensation, “I’m a Snake” which received 23 million hits on YouTube, tested out Snake on Facebook camera. Matt has recreated his own viral hit, this time using the Snake Mask filter to show off the brilliant new features.

Pekka Rantala, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of HMD Global said: “The world famous game snaked its way back into people’s hearts at MWC in 2017 when we announced Snake for Facebook Messenger.

It was designed for a new social generation; fans could invite friends to play and share scores making it even more playable than first time round. This was the first time in Snake’s history that it went onto a universal channel, rather than a device preload, and it gained 121 million players around the world.

Now we launch an even more immersive experience to fans by allowing them to be the snake itself and eat the apples with filters available on Facebook camera – here at HMD Global we are bringing the much-loved gaming icon to a new AR era.”

The camera effect can be accessed via the Facebook camera and is universally available, not just to Nokia smartphones. It is available on Android and iOS.

HMD Global is encouraging players to share the most unusual places they play the game using the hashtag #imasnake2.

How to play

1. Open the Facebook app
2. Click the camera Icon top left to open Facebook Camera
3. Scroll to the Snake Mask
4. Ssstart to play!

Matt Keck YouTube #imasnake2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZBu6rbYfwo&feature=youtu.be

Train2Game News Man vs Snake Documentary

ManVsSnakeMAN VS SNAKE: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, the acclaimed documentary chronicling one man’s journey to reclaim his video game legacy, has been picked up for distribution by leading independent film and documentary publisher FilmBuff.

MAN VS SNAKE, which took home ‘Best Documentary Film’ at Fantastic Fest 2015 and Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016, is a window into the hyper-insular subculture of competitive gaming: the ultimate tale of man vs technology – or, in this instance, man vs old-school arcade cabinet. The film will be released across all On Demand platforms, including iTunes, Steam, Google Play, XBox, Playstation, Amazon, and Vudu, as well as select theater showings across the United States.

If you ever played the game “Snake” on your early model Nokia cellphone, then you’re familiar with “Nibbler,” the original “snake” game. MAN VS SNAKE tells the story of Tim McVey who, in 1984, on a single quarter (and over 44 hours of non-stop play) was the first person in history to score one billion points on a video game. 25 years later, rumors of a higher score surface online, attributed to Italian kickboxing champion Enrico Zanetti. This calls into question everything Tim McVey has believed for decades and forces him to make a decision: either set a new world record, or risk losing his legacy forever. He’ll have to overcome psychological exhaustion and the limits of his physical condition – not to mention a challenge from one of the most notorious men in competitive gaming.

Featuring cameos from competitive arcade gamer and entrepreneur Billy Mitchell, and businessman, historian, and founder of Twin Galaxies, Walter Day, Jr., MAN VS SNAKE is a quirky, comical, and frequently inspiring emotional journey created by Battlestar Galactica editors and professional geeks, Andrew Seklir and Tim Kinzy. The project was originally revealed in August of 2013 on Kickstarter, where it raised a total of $61,440 USD from several hundred backers.

“MAN VS SNAKE seems like it should be unrelatable – I mean, I couldn’t play an arcade game for four hours, much less 44,” said Andrew Seklir, Producer, Director and Film Editor. “But McVey embodies so much of what I love about this story – a certain specificity of obsession; dogged determination to leave a legacy; ceaseless tenacity in the face of a seemingly insurmountable goal. It’s been a trip following him through his truly weird journey, and I’m thrilled to get to share his remarkable story with the world.”

“Andrew and Tim have done something special here,” said FilmBuff’s Jake Hanly. “Tim McVey is a person you can’t help but root for, and they turned his story into a movie you can’t help but root for.”

Train2Game News New head of Devices at Microsoft

Xbox OneThe former Nokia CEO is taking over the Devices and Studios division, as Julie Larson-Green moves into a new role within the company.

With Microsoft acquiring Nokia’s device and services division, Stephen Elop, who had been a candidate to take over for Steve Ballmer (Satya Nadella got the job), is now about to lead Microsoft’s Devices and Studios division, which is home to entertainment, games, Xbox, and Surface.

Julie Larson-Green revealed that she’s taking up a new role to lead the My Life & Work team in the Applications and Services Group, serving as Chief Experience Officer.

“As hard as it is for me to leave Devices & Studios, I’m thrilled about this opportunity… I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me and supporting me as the leader of Devices & Studios over the past 7 months. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished during such a short timeframe. We launched Xbox One, Surface 2 & Pro 2, blockbuster games like Forza and Ryse, a brand new Xbox Music and Video service, PPI, and some amazing unannounced innovations just to name a few – incredibly impressive!” she wrote.

Larson-Green added that she’s looking to make the transition in the Xbox group as smooth as possible.

“I’ll remain in role leading the DnS organization in the interim until the Nokia deal closes and Stephen Elop makes his transition to Microsoft. We’ve been meeting regularly throughout and are making a lot of progress, ensuring our teams are ready for the Day 1 close and beyond,” she said. “You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS. I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.”

Ironically, back in November when Elop was still in the running for the Microsoft CEO position, it was reported that he would consider selling off the Xbox business, and now he’s going to be overseeing it.

Source: Games Industry.biz

Train2Game News: Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet

Nokia Lumia 2520Nokia has announced their very first tablet. The Nokia Lumia 2520 which runs Microsoft’s Windows RT 8.1

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is ideal for life on the move, with high definition 1080p, 10.1-inch screen is made using Gorilla Glass 2 for toughness, and has been made to give less reflection than other tablets in the marketplace, a superior brightness range to see your content in different lighting environments, as well as a wide-viewing angle, for sharing or presenting.

The components, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, were selected for flawless performance from the touch-screen OS, without soaking up the battery. The system is designed to selectively cut down power consumption when it’s not needed.

While it’s running a full computer operating system, the Lumia 2520’s battery is capable of such feats as playing video for ten hours non-stop without a charge. The battery also offers a quick start with its ultra-fast charging time. It can go from zero to 80 per-cent charged in an hour.

On the back, there’s a high quality 6.7-megapixel camera with ZEISS optics and an f1.9 aperture that delivers great low light performance. This is supported by two new apps from Nokia – Storyteller and Video Director, which will help you make the most of the media you capture and create. On the front, a secondary 2-megapixel camera allows for crystal clear video calls.

The Windows RT 8.1 operating system offers a complete Microsoft Outlook and Office experience, preinstalled, at no extra cost. Also, from Nokia, you’ll find a new version of HERE Maps, making this the first tablet with a true offline mapping capability. There’s also Nokia Music onboard, for free streaming and offline Mixes.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is estimated to be £399 and be released this quarter but nothing has yet been confirmed.

Train2Game News: Mark Zuckerberg working to connect the world

mark zuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the formation of Internet.org, a group with the specific goal of helping make the internet available to the entire world.

It’s a partnership with a number of prominent technology companies — Facebook, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung are among the founding members — that will join forces for a number of initiatives they hope will bring connectivity to the two-thirds of the globe that currently don’t have an easy way to get online.

According to the press release announcing the initiative, Internet.org is taking aim at three specific challenges. Affordability, for which the founders will be developing cheaper means of access, including smartphones; data efficiency, in which they’ll focus on compression and other techniques that will allow services to use less bandwidth; and access itself. For the latter, Internet.org’s members will focus on developing business models that will incentivize companies of all types to provide cheaper, more plentiful internet access in the targeted regions.

In connection with the launch, Zuckerberg has posted a mission statement laying out some early goals and approaches Internet.org is looking at, while framing its ambitions as an issue of human rights rather than business concerns. “I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” Zuckerberg writes. “The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be profitable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”

If Zuckerberg and his team succeed in this venture, not only will it be great for those unable to connect at the minute to have access to the knowledge of the internet, but it will also mean that the market for games will grow exponentially.

Train2Game News: Halo: Spartan Assault coming to mobile

Halo Spartan AssaultA new Halo game is being added to the franchise, this time for the mobile market. The game will be released in July.

Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down shooter built for mobiles and tablets, with the iconic sights and sounds you would expect from a Halo title.

Spartan Assault however is only available for Windows Phone 8 and tablets such as the Surface. Dan Ayoub, the executive producer for publishing at 343, explains that the purpose here is to drive interest in these Microsoft platforms, which is pretty honest and straightforward of him.

Whether or not it’ll make you buy one of those cool Nokia phones, Spartan Assault is nevertheless a high quality experience when it rolls under your thumbs. Though it plays like it was born in the 16-bit era of top-down shooters, the presentation is excellent.

Ayoub said that his team’s main goal was to, as he puts it, “un-tether Halo”.

“We had to let it be something that you can take with you wherever you go. But we also had to make the right Halo game, we couldn’t just copy and paste the experience onto mobiles and tablets.

“We also wanted to change the dialogue about what’s possible on mobiles. A lot of people have preconceptions about what a mobile game is. They think it’s not going to look great and it’s not going to sound great. We wanted to crush those perceptions.”

The biggest achievement is the controls. Those familiar with using virtual analogues on touch-screens will notice how, due to the lack of resistance, thumbs will naturally glide away from the analogues. Spartan Assault, however, features virtual sticks that follow your thumbs, meaning that control remains on the tip of your fingers.

It’s not perfect but it’s as close as any mobile developer has come.

Other elements are more traditional. Set within a narrative that bridges the gap between Halo 3 and 4, in Spartan Assault players will command an UNSC Infinity Spartan who is limited to two weapons, an assortment of grenades and a trusty melee attack. Enemies come in waves and shields need to be recharged before the next burst of action.

Other parts are entirely new. There will be microtransactions for certain upgrades and new weapons. The game saves to the cloud, meaning you can start on mobile and continue on tablet or desktop.

The game’s 25 levels will take about several hours to get though, and certain milestones will unlock Achievements on Halo 4. This being a mobile game, post-release content is already planned, with weekly challenges in place and content add-ons penciled in.

Series custodian 343 Industries has partnered with Netherlands studio Vanguard Games to build this, which in itself is interesting as that studio was co-founded by Martin de Ronde – the man who helped establish Killzone outfit Guerrilla.

“We are a team of console developers learning a new space, so we had to unlearn things really quickly,” says Ayoub.

While it’s been a challenge for those console developers to un-think their approach to a project, what they have brought to the mobile games space is encouraging. This is an attractive, light-weight version of Halo for both commuters and hardcore fans of the series.

You can enjoy the trailer for the game below