Train2Game News Rebellion hits 25th birthday


Happy birthday Rebellion! 

The independent UK studio behind Sniper Elite, Battlezone and Zombie Army Trilogy has hit the big milestone, celebrating its 25th birthday this week.

To give this context, Rebellion was formed by Jason and Chris Kingsley on 4th December 1992. It was a time when Mega Drive and SNES were doing battle on the pages of CVG. When Home Alone 2: Lost In New York was just a week away from its long-awaited cinema release. When ‘Would I Lie To You’ by Charles & Eddie stormed up the UK charts.

Yes, people actually bought that single in droves. Truly, they were strange times.

But more importantly, it was also the start of a long and successful journey for Rebellion. From the humble beginnings of Eye of the Storm to the co-op adventuring of Strange Brigade, Rebellion’s story has seen the studio offer gamers new experiences through VR tank showdowns, zombie Hitler battles and the chance to snipe testicles from three postcodes away.

Rebellion’s pop-culture influence even reaches beyond gaming now, as the studio has also become the custodian of all things 2000 AD and Judge Dredd, while Rebellion Publishing pushes the coolest authors and artists from the fringes of counterculture.

As part of Rebellion’s celebrations this week, here are 25 facts about the UK studio… and here’s to the next 25 years!

1) Rebellion was founded in 1992 in Oxford by two brothers – Jason and Chris Kingsley

2) The iconic Rebellion logo was inspired by the Solidarity logo used by the Polish trade union of the same name.

3) The name ‘Rebellion’ comes from the Kingsleys wanting a name to represent how they would ‘do things slightly differently’

4) Five people worked on Rebellion’s first game, Eye of the Storm, compared to Rebellion’s current team sizes of typically up

5) Jason and Chris Kingsley were among the first three people in Europe to hear about the Atari Jaguar

6) Rebellion has developed games for a number of well-known franchises including Aliens vs Predator, James Bond, Harry Potter, The Simpsons and Star Wars

7) Rebellion has developed over 85 games to date

8) Rebellion’s biggest-selling licensed game is The Simpsons Game

9) Rebellion’s biggest-selling original game is Sniper Elite V2

10) Rebellion has 32 platform number 1 games to its name

11) In 2000, Rebellion bought 2000AD

12) Rebellion has made 10 acquisitions throughout its history, including 2000AD and Elixir Studios

13) Over 200 issues of the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine have been published under Rebellion’s aegis

14) Over 800 issues of the weekly 2000AD comic have been published under Rebellion’s aegis

15) Rebellion has published over 1,000 books to date

16) Jason and Chris Kingsley were Producers on the 2012 Dredd film starring Karl Urban

17) Jason and Chris Kingsley are Producers on the new Judge Dredd: Mega City One TV series

18) Rebellion uses its own development engine, ‘Asura’

19) Rebellion has won four awards as a studio, including Best Independent Studio in 2017…

20) …while Rebellion has also won 28 awards for its games, on top of the many awards won by 2000 AD and Rebellion Publishing.

21) Rebellion has developed for 35 different gaming platforms including Amiga, Wii and PlayStation VR

22) Rebellion has over 200 staff across their studios

23) Rebellion is one of the UK’s largest fully independent studios

24) Jason Kingsley was awarded an OBE due to his ‘services to the economy’

25) Jason and Chris Kingsley created the computer graphics for the Adamski’s ‘Killer’ music video featuring Seal

Train2Game News Cocos2d-x Engine

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Chukong USA today revealed several of the top grossing games rocketing up the 2015 charts in the App Store and Google Play have been developed with the award winning Cocos2d-x game engine.

Cocos2d-x is the world’s largest open source mobile game engine with over 490,000 registered developers and 50,000 published titles. According to research firm AppAnnie’s game index, Cocos developers from indie to enterprise alike have recently achieved the prestigious top 10 ranking with games including: Clash of Kings, Puzzle & Dragons, Monster Strike, Fantasy Westward Journey Mobile, Big Fish Casino, The Legend of Mir 2, The King of Fighters’ 98, and the new indie title Floors.

Ricardo Quesada, the main author of Cocos2d, said: “We’re focused on providing a powerful, yet lightweight game engine with easy-to-use APIs, intuitive tools, and an enthusiastic community. Additionally, with the availability of Cocos SDKBOX, we can further offer mobile game developers a comprehensive solution for building and marketing highly polished, well-performing games, as exemplified by these top performing games in the app stores.”

Hiroshi Sugiyama, Chief Engineer of Alim, a subsidiary of gumi Inc., said: “We chose Cocos2d-x for its excellent multi-platform support and open source code; no part of Cocos2d-x is a black box. Its potential as a great game development tool helped us right from the beginning. When we began production on Brave Frontier, Cocos2d-x had just been released; tools and information was scarce at the time. Thanks to the platform, we were able to deliver a high quality game.”

Yuri Sanachev, developer with Ketchapp, said: “Floors was my first mobile project, and it only took about a week to learn Cocos2d-x basics for designing the core gameplay. The Cocos engine is very flexible and developer-friendly, while the resources, memory management, particle engine and actions model made my life a lot easier. I also leveraged the Cocos SDKBOX IAP, and I’m looking forward to the roadmap of future integrations and updates that will be invaluable for my games.”

Additionally, today’s news falls on the heels of a recent update to Cocos SDKBOX, where thousands of developers are already leveraging the framework for managing game data SDKs used for analytics, attribution, user acquisition, social, IAP, mediation and other live operations services to grow their player base and rise to the top of the app store charts. Since the release of SDKBOX version 1.3 in September, the number of games with the service installed has grown to over 4,500 titles.

For more information on Cocos2d-x and SDKBOX, please visit us at http://cocos2d-x.org.

Train2Game News Open Source Virtual Reality gains more support

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Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, and Sensics, a leader in high-performance VR, today announced additional partners for the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem.

Since its award-winning announcement at CES 2015, OSVR has signed 13 new members, including Jaunt, a pioneering company in cinematic VR. Other companies are in talks with Razer and Sensics.

“The reception of OSVR exceeded even our own expectations and we’re working through numerous partner requests since CES,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “Being able to bring together companies doing amazing work in all areas of virtual reality can accelerate consumer-ready devices and improve overall user experiences.”

OSVR aims to standardize the creation and enjoyment of content for virtual reality devices and software. Razer and Sensics will support the venture with the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit, a virtual reality device and open-source software that enables programming for any variety of VR technology.

For the full list of OSVR supporters and more information, go to www.osvr.com.

Train2Game News Open Platform VR Gaming

osvr-logoA group of industry leaders, alongside with Razer, a leader in connected devices and software for gamers, and Sensics, a leader in high-performance VR, today announced the Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem, a new standard in VR gaming to push the VR gaming experience forward.

Razer will support the venture with the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit, a virtual reality device and open-source software that enables programming for any variety of VR technology.

OSVR provides both hardware and software support at every level of virtual reality gaming. Starting with some of the most popular game engines, including Unity and Unreal Engine 4, OSVR also works with device plugins from hardware market leaders like Bosch and Razer and the latest from Sixense and LeapMotion. Moreover, OSVR is designed to support all VR devices, including the Oculus DK 2 and Vrvana’s Totem headset.

Engineering teams from all over the world developed a standardized interface for virtual reality gaming. The open platform will allow third parties to design and build their own apps and hardware across any operating systems, including Windows, Android and Linux.

“Gaming is moving towards the virtual reality platform and this poses huge benefits and challenges to gamers at every level,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “OSVR brings game developers, gamers and hardware manufacturers together to solve those challenges and make virtual reality gaming a reality for the masses.”

Says Sensics CEO Yuval Boger: “OSVR’s open-platform approach accelerates innovation and provides consumers the freedom of choosing the best combination of hardware and software components. We are excited to partner with Razer and other industry leaders to build OSVR together.”

In line with the OSVR vision, the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit hardware design is both affordable and open source to encourage developers to take advantage of the program. To make software development even easier, the OSVR HDK includes high-quality, low-distortion optics that practically eliminate the need for color and distortion correction, thus minimizing the amount of additional development work required for OSVR compared to other VR devices. Anyone can download 3D files and create their own set of VR-Glasses. For more information on how that works, visit www.osvr.com.

“The OGA is committed to an open ecosystem for the gaming industry, and is pleased to support the efforts of the OSVR,” said Drew Johnston, president of the Open Gaming Alliance. “A free, open source VR development solution supporting multiple headset manufacturers, diverse game engines, and multiple platforms is exactly what game developers and publishers need to accelerate VR gaming adoption.”

Train2Game News: MIT makes educational engine open source

MITGameLabMIT Game Lab has released the source code for an engine it hopes will inspire developers to create educational games exploring special relativity.

The OpenRelativity toolset was used to create A Slower Speed of Light which MIT News reports was based around the question, “what would it be like if relativity was part of your everyday life?”.

Special relativity is a complex topic that lends itself to visual representation, and the tools allow developers to simulate the visual effects of travelling at near-light speeds.

“Education can be assisted through the use of games and other interactive media, especially for topics that frequently are hard to understand and visualise,” said MIT Game Lab’s Rik Eberhardt.

Educational gaming is a growing field and as more developers take an interest in using the medium as a teaching tool they need tools that support their efforts.

“The MIT Game Lab is built around this idea that play is extremely powerful, and one thing games are good at is giving people an intuitive grasp of complex scientific ideas,” said MIT Game lab creative director Philip Tan.

The effects of near-light speed travel is recreated by effectively slowing everything down to about walking speeds, allowing the events to be experienced at a scale closer to normal reality.

The source code for the OpenRelativity engine and toolset is available on Github and runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

A story such as this one is a perfect example of how the games industry influences and helps the rest of the world.