Train2Game News Online Festival Of Games Writing

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is delighted to announce its second, week-long mini-festival on the craft of videogames writing, this time sponsored by Articy.

It follows the inaugural festival in June last year and kicks off next Monday 26 April 2021.

All the events are free and participants just need to register ahead.

The calendar of events follows (click on the Eventbrite links below for more detail, including panellists).
Closed captions are available for all the events.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Monday 26 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Writing for indie games – creating narrative for independent studios
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Tuesday 27 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Interactive writing portfolios – creating interactive portfolios
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Wednesday 28 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Dialogue as text – the unspoken secrets of writing interactive dialogue
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Thursday 29 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Creating narrative in procedural worlds – writing narrative with and for procedural generation
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Friday 30 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Implementing game narrative – taking the words and making the magic
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Train2Game News First Black Game Pros Mixer

Ubisoft today announced the first UK Black Game Pros Mixer to be held on Friday, 11th December. 

The online event, which is being held in Europe for the first time, will be hosted by co-founders Kurston Timothy, Development Tester at Ubisoft Toronto and Leon Winkler, Ubisoft Director of International Events and will feature a full programme of panels, key notes and interviews with some of the UK industry’s most successful black professionals. 

The free event will take place from 3pm to 6pm GMT and complimentary tickets will be available from this link.

The mission of The Black Game Pros Mixer is to generate and foster more representation and diversity in the broader video game industry.  The events facilitate networking and dialogue with relevant speakers as well as shine a light on under-represented job profiles to demonstrate the many pathways for people of colour to enter and thrive within the industry.

Leon Winkler, said, “It’s our goal to reach out to and actively engage with communities representing people of colour to show off how viable and diverse the opportunities within our industry are.” He added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming some of the most inspiring British professionals to contribute to this by sharing their experiences and knowledge about the UK industry, covering topics that are meaningful for both themselves and our community.”

The three-hour event will feature the following elements:

KEYNOTES:

  • Chella Ramanan, Jr Narrative Designer at Ubisoft Massive – How did I get into the Industry?
  • Sian-Selina Grant, Partnerships Manager at Newzoo – Data and the UK Gaming Industry

PANELS:

  • Breaking into the UK Games Industry: including panelists Rosemary Buahin (Games Category Lead, Xbox UK and Ireland), Lauren Dillon (Sr. Account Director at Premier PR London) and Adam Campbell (Director of product at Azoomee and founder of POC in Play) – Moderated by Leon Winkler
  • Being and staying successful in the UK Gaming Industry: with Stephanie Ijoma (founder of NNESAGA), Marcus Bronzy (award winning presenter) and Timi-Abajomi Ofarn (co-founder of The Nerd Council) – Moderated by Kurston Timothy
  • Making the Industry truly diverse: including panelists such as Mr Midas (award winning Video Game TV Presenter and Content Producer) and Nigel Twumasi (co-founder of Mayamada – The World’s First Manga Network) – Moderated by Kurston Timothy

INTERVIEWS:

  • Mr Midas (Interviewed by Leon Winkler)
  • Stephanie Ijoma (Interviewed by Leon Winkler)

Ahead of The Black Game Pros Mixer – UK Edition, Ubisoft will be hosting another edition of the event for those working in the African games industry on 3rd December in partnership with the FEJA game event, for more information, please visit the following link.

Train2Game News Global Game Jam 2021 Online

Global Game Jam 2021 will be a completely digital event in January in response to COVID 19, and site registrations open today at https://globalgamejam.org/jam-site-registration
 
Following the success of GGJ NEXT Online – the Global Game Jam event for younger participants that takes place each summer, and this year also moved to a digital format – GGJ Online is officially announced to take place January 27-31, 2021. Join thousands of hobbyist, student, and professional game developers from over 115 countries across the world online this January to celebrate creation, collaboration and togetherness despite being apart!
 
Additionally, Seattle video game industry veteran and champion for game development and climate science, Tim Cullings, joins Global Game Jam, Inc as Director of Operations, replacing Jo Summers who served as the GGJ Executive Producer for over three years. A Systems Engineer at Oculus and Founding Board Member for Seattle Indies, Cullings also helped found GUILD, a support group for indie game developer community organizers, as well as Games For Our Future, a multi-city game jam that brings together climate science researchers and game developers to make games about climate change related issues. 
 
“We’ve been discussing GGJ Online with our community on social media for a few months already. Given the current global situation, it was really never an ‘if’, it was a ‘when’ and ‘how’,” said Kate Edwards, Executive Director of Global Game Jam. “The tenets of Global Game Jam – creativity, collaboration, inclusion and fun – are more important now than ever, and we are so excited to have Tim Cullings joining our staff. His extensive background in supporting indie developers and organizing charity game jam events for change will prove invaluable as we steer into the uncharted waters ahead.”
 
The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is the world’s largest game creation event taking place around the globe, typically at physical locations. A “game jam” is essentially a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.
 
For individuals interested in running a GGJ Online site, please click here to fill out the application.
 
Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about setting up a site.

Train2Game News Age Ratings for Games and Netflix to be Improved

Today the BBFC has launched an innovative new industry collaboration with Netflix to move towards classifying all content on the service using BBFC age ratings.

Netflix will produce BBFC age ratings for content using a manual tagging system along with an automated rating algorithm, with the BBFC taking up an auditing role. Netflix and the BBFC will work together to make sure Netflix’s classification process produces ratings which are consistent with the BBFC’s Classification Guidelines for the UK.

It comes as new research by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the Video Standards Council Rating Board (VSC) has revealed that almost 80% of parents are concerned about children seeing inappropriate content on video on demand or online games platforms.

The BBFC and the VSC have joined forces to respond to calls from parents and are publishing a joint set of Best Practice Guidelines to help online services deliver what UK consumers want.

The Best Practice Guidelines will help online platforms work towards greater and more consistent use of trusted age ratings online. The move is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s strategy to make the UK the safest place to be online.

This includes recommending the use of consistent and more comprehensive use of BBFC age labelling symbols across all Video On Demand (VOD) services, and PEGI symbols across online games services, including additional ratings info and mapping parental controls to BBFC age ratings and PEGI ratings.

The voluntary Guidelines are aimed at VOD services offering video content to UK consumers via subscription, purchase and rental, but exclude pure catch-up TV services like iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My 5 and UKTV Player.

The research also shows that 90% of parents believe that it is important to display age ratings when downloading or streaming a film online, and 92% of parents think it’s important for video on demand platforms to show the same type of age ratings they would expect at the cinema or on DVD and Blu-ray – confirmed by 94% of parents saying it’s important to have consistent ratings across all video on demand platforms, rather than a variety of bespoke ratings systems.

With nine in 10 (94%) parents believing it is important to have consistent ratings across all online game platforms rather than a variety of bespoke systems, the VSC is encouraging services to join the likes of Microsoft, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo and Google in providing consumers with the nationally recognised PEGI ratings on games – bringing consistency between the offline and online worlds.

The Video Recordings Act requires that the majority of video works and video games released on physical media must be classified by the BBFC or the VSC prior to release. While there is no equivalent legal requirement that online releases must be classified, the BBFC has been working with VOD services since 2008, and the VSC has been working with online games platforms since 2003. The Best Practice Guidelines aim to build on the good work that is already happening, and both authorities are now calling for the online industry to work with them in 2019 and beyond to better protect children.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said: “Our research clearly shows a desire from the public to see the same trusted ratings they expect at the cinema, on DVD and on Blu-ray when they choose to watch material online. We know that it’s not just parents who want age ratings, teenagers want them too. We want to work with the industry to ensure that families are able to make the right decisions for them when watching content online.”

Ian Rice, Director General of the VSC, said: “We have always believed that consumers wanted a clear, consistent and readily recognisable rating system for online video games and this research has certainly confirmed that view. While the vast majority of online game providers are compliant and apply PEGI ratings to their product, it is clear that more can be done to help consumers make an informed purchasing decision. To this end, the best practice recommendations will certainly make a valuable contribution in achieving this aim.”

Digital Minister Margot James said: “Our ambition is for the UK to be the safest place to be online, which means having age ratings parents know and trust applied to all online films and video games. I welcome the innovative collaboration announced today by Netflix and the BBFC, but more needs to be done.

“It is important that more of the industry takes this opportunity for voluntary action, and I encourage all video on demand and games platforms to adopt the new best practice standards set out by the BBFC and Video Standards Council.”

The BBFC is looking at innovative ways to open up access to its classifications to ensure that more online video content goes live with a trusted age rating. Today the BBFC and Netflix announce a year-long self-ratings pilot which will see the online streaming service move towards in-house classification using BBFC age ratings, under licence.

Netflix will use an algorithm to apply BBFC Guideline standards to their own content, with the BBFC setting those standards and auditing ratings to ensure consistency. The goal is to work towards 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings across the platform.

Mike Hastings, Director of Editorial Creative at Netflix, said: “The BBFC is a trusted resource in the UK for providing classification information to parents and consumers and we are excited to expand our partnership with them. Our work with the BBFC allows us to ensure our members always press play on content that is right for them and their families.”

David Austin added: “We are fully committed to helping families chose content that is right for them, and this partnership with Netflix will help us in our goal to do just that. By partnering with the biggest streaming service, we hope that others will follow Netflix’s lead and provide comprehensive, trusted, well understood age ratings and ratings info, consistent with film and DVD, on their UK platforms. The partnership shows how the industry are working with us to find new and innovative ways to deliver 100% age ratings for families.”

Train2Game News Elder Scrolls Online Free

Bethesda will host a Free Play Week for The Elder Scrolls Online starting tomorrow and running all the way through April 18 across all platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. 
That’s seven full days for players to adventure through Tamriel, build and grow characters, conquer Delves and Dolmens, and unravel another incredibly epic Elder Scrolls saga.

Maybe you’ve been reading about the enormous new Chapter, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, coming June 6 or you’ve heard about how players at Game Informer, MMORPG.com, and MassivelyOP.com all voted ESO the ‘Best MMO of 2016’ and wondered what you might be missing. This is the best  chance to find out for free and hone your skills before heading back to Vvardenfell in June.

The Free Play Weekend will include:

    No Restrictions: Access to the full The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited base game. Go where you want, when you want, and with who you want in the massive open world and build your hero however you see fit.

    500 Free Crowns: Everyone receives 500 Crowns to spend in the Crown Store on fun costumes, unique pets, helpful scrolls, and more.

    Progress Retention: Any characters created, Crown Packs purchased, or Crown Store items bought, as well as any progress made during the Free Play Week will carry over when you purchase the game.

    Try and Buy … At a Discount: During the Free Play Week, you’ll enjoy a discounted price on either The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (the base game) or The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Edition, which includes the base game as well as the four major DLC packs: Imperial City, Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and The Dark Brotherhood.

Whether you’re looking to quest online with your friends, or just want to head back to Tamriel by yourself for another epic Elder Scrolls adventure, ESO provides you the freedom and flexibility to play how you want to play.

How and When to Get into the Free Play Week

Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players can begin downloading today at 3pm British Summer Time.

Players should navigate to The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited on the PlayStation Store, the Xbox Store, or Steam and download the game. Once the game is downloaded and players have created an account, they can login and play immediately. 

Train2game News DC Universe Online on XB1

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Daybreak Game Company has officially released the massively multiplayer online game DC Universe™ Online (DCUO) on Xbox One.

Players can download and experience the title for free* directly via the Xbox Games Store. To celebrate the game’s launch, Daybreak Games has created three exclusive items free to download for Xbox One players: the Powered-Up Cape, Powered-Up Emblem and Vapor Aura.

“Xbox One players can finally channel their inner Super Hero – or Super-Villain. Whether they want to run fast like The Flash, fly like Superman or wield ice like Captain Cold, we have more than five years’ worth of content to adventure through in DC Universe Online,” said SJ Muller, DCUO Creative Director. “DCUO is the only MMO set in the DC Comics universe, and its physics-based combat allows players to really feel like they are part of this action-packed Super Hero world.”

In DCUO, players create their own Super Heroes or Super-Villains and equip them with their favorite superpowers to protect or cause chaos in the sprawling comic worlds of Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond. Players can also fight as any of the 40 available iconic DC Comics characters in Legends PvP and PvE game modes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Flash, Green Arrow and more.

Beyond its core adventures, DCUO has continually rolled out new and ongoing events, stories and challenges through game updates and more than 20 original Episodes. 2016 has already seen the arrival of new content inspired by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Warner Bros. television series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, with Water powers and new content focused on Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Darkseid and Gotham Girls still on the way.

Episodes, as well as Legends characters and powers, are available to purchase individually or can be accessed through DCUO Membership. Xbox One users will be able to access all content currently available, and in the future, all game updates and marketplace additions are planned to release simultaneously across all platforms.

DC Universe Online is the first title from Daybreak Games to be published on Xbox One. It will be joined later this year by the official release of H1Z1®: King of the Kill™ on Xbox One (as well as the PlayStation®4 system and Windows PC).

DCUO recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, having originally launched in 2011 on Windows PC and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and, later, the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.

DC Universe Online is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on behalf of DC Entertainment. For more information, please visit www.DCUniverseOnline.com.

Train2Game News DC Universe Online coming to Xbox One

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Daybreak Game Company is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the launch of DC Universe™ Online (DCUO) with the news that the massively multiplayer online superhero game is coming this spring to Xbox One.

Additionally, Daybreak announced that cross-play functionality will be available for players on the PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and PC the week of Jan. 25, 2016.

Since its release in 2011, DC Universe Online has received continual updates with new storylines and challenges through an evolving series of Episodes. Over 40 legendary DC Comics characters have been added to the Legends roster in the past five years, including The Joker, Bane, Batman, Deathstroke, Supergirl, Superman and Wonder Woman. Players have created more than 35 million heroes and villains since the game was introduced, equipping them with their favorite superpowers, most notably the ability to fly, which accounts for more than half of the in-game player powers in Metropolis and Gotham City.

In 2015, DCUO updated Supergirl’s look to coincide with the CBS television show, launched DC Comics Bombshells content in conjunction with the comic book, celebrated The Flash’s 75th anniversary, released two new power sets – Munitions and Atomic, concluded The League of Assassins and Trigon storylines, and much more. In addition to PC-PS4™ cross-play and DCUO’s launch on the Xbox One, this year players can look forward to Water powers as well as storylines featuring Superman, Halls of Power, Harley Quinn and characters from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Episode 21, coming this February, will feature a new eight-player Operation – “Prison Break” – and two-player Operation – “The First Piece” – inspired by the new Warner Bros. television series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, premiering Jan. 21 on The CW. Additionally, this content will introduce The Atom to DCUO, as well as bring back popular characters like Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Captain Cold and Heat Wave to the game. To see a sneak preview of the new Episode, check out this special anniversary livestream with Kinda Funny Games: http://www.twitch.tv/kindafunnygames/v/34919169

DC Universe Online is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on behalf of DC Entertainment. For more information, please visit www.DCUniverseOnline.com .

Train2Game News GTA Liberty City Stories on mobile

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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is now available on the latest iOS devices, and coming soon for Android and Amazon devices.

In Liberty City Stories, former trusted wise guy for the Leone crime family, Toni Cipriani returns home after spending time in hiding for killing a made man. Now, the streets of Liberty City are in turmoil, as warring families vie for control and the town begins to self-destruct under waves of political corruption, organized crime, drug trafficking and union strikes. Deranged hit men, morally depraved tycoons, cynical politicians and even his own mother stand in the way as Toni tries to bring the city under Leone family control.

Originally designed with mobile gameplay in mind, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories returns with enhancements including real time lighting and shadows, upgraded textures and art, greater draw distance, performance enhancements for touch-based gaming including updated analog steering and rebalanced targeting, cross-platform cloud saves via Social Club, support for Apple’s 3D touch and more.

In addition to cross-platform cloud saves, players who download Liberty City Stories and then sign in to Social Club within the app will unlock the bonus I HEART LC t-shirt with the same account used in Grand Theft Auto Online for PlayStation 4, Xbox One or PC. Once you’ve signed in, the shirt will be available for free at any GTA Online clothing store.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 23.06.15

Lego Jurrasic WorldNo new games this week in the charts but LEGO Jurrasic World has managed to take the number one spot from The Elder Scrolls Online. The game has had a big bump from the films huge popularity.

All formats

Week ending 20 June 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 2
2 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 1
3 THE WITCHER III: WILD HUNT BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT 3
4 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 5
5 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 6
6 PAYDAY 2: CRIMEWAVE EDITION 505 GAMES 4
7 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 7
8 SPLATOON NINTENDO 8
9 DESTINY ACTIVISION 11
10 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 12
11 PROJECT CARS BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT 13
12 FARMING SIMULATOR 15 FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE 10
13 BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE EA GAMES 9
14 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 14
15 DYING LIGHT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 15
16 WOLFENSTEIN: THE OLD BLOOD BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 17
17 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT 18
18 MORTAL KOMBAT X WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 16
19 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 17
20 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 19
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2015 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 – 15.06.15

elder-scrolls-online-logoThe charts sees two new games sitting on top this week knocking The Witcher 3 down to third. The number two slot goes to the movie tie in lego game, Lego Jurrasic World and the number one spot is The Elder Scrolls Online. The final new edition to the charts is Payday 2: Crimewave edition which is number four.

All formats

Week ending 13 June 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
2 LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
3 THE WITCHER III: WILD HUNT BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT 1
4 PAYDAY 2: CRIMEWAVE EDITION 505 GAMES
5 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 2
6 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 3
7 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 10
8 SPLATOON NINTENDO 4
9 BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE EA GAMES 5
10 FARMING SIMULATOR 15 FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE 7
11 DESTINY ACTIVISION 8
12 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 9
13 PROJECT CARS BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT 6
14 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 14
15 DYING LIGHT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 11
16 MORTAL KOMBAT X WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
17 WOLFENSTEIN: THE OLD BLOOD BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 13
18 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT 19
19 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 16
20 FORZA HORIZON 2 MICROSOFT 20
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2015 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.