Train2Game News Blizzard announces Overwatch

OverwatchIn front of a live crowd of more than 25,000 BlizzCon attendees and an expected online audience numbering in the millions, Blizzard Entertainment announced Overwatch. A pick-up-and-play first-person shooter featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all-new Blizzard game universe.

The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”

The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here’s just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch’s rosters:

  • Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
  • Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armor, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
  • Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
  • Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies—and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.

While each hero represents a formidable force on their own, players can amplify their potential by assembling into a well-balanced team and creatively combining powers. No matter which hero or playstyle they prefer, players will be able to team up and accomplish the incredible in Overwatch.

At BlizzCon this past weekend, Overwatch was fully playable and running on 600 PCs, and attendees there were the first in the world to play it. Gamers at the show could select from a current roster of 12 playable heroes and go 6v6 against each other, capturing or defending points and attacking or delivering payloads across three wildly different maps. New heroes and maps will continually be added to the game as development progresses, and beta testing will begin in 2015.

Learn more about Overwatch, including all of the heroes and maps revealed at BlizzCon, and sign up to participate in the upcoming beta test at the official website, www.playoverwatch.com. Further details about the game will be announced there in the months ahead.

You can enjoy the entertaining Pixar-esque announcement trailer below

Train2Game News The Cinema Suite

unity-logoCinema Suite (www.cinema-suite.com) today announced a special limited-time bundle price on The Cinema Suite, a high quality cinematic toolkit for the Unity Game Engine (www.unity3D.com).

The Cinema Suite bundles four editor tools – Cinema Director, Cinema Mo Cap, Cinema Pro Cams and Cinema Themes – that can deliver outstanding visuals for professionals and amateurs alike easily and affordably. The Cinema Suite is available for a special introductory price of $100 through the end of November.

“Cinematic tools were one of the most requested features at Unity Unite this summer,” said Dan Gamsby, co-founder and CTO at Cinema Suite. “We have an easy to use collection of tools that streamline the process for creating quality video content within Unity, whether you want to create cutscenes and promotional video content for your game, or need a full-featured pre-visualization tool for your film project.”

Cinema Director, a tightly integrated, fully-featured timeline editor, saves users days and even weeks of work. Users can easily sequence in-game events for their Unity project and create captivating cutscenes in a fraction of the time that it would take by writing manual scripts or programming. Setting up camera shots, controlling events, adding multi-track audio and transitions make these projects come to life in much less time.

Cinematography in Unity has never been easier. An industry-standard lens tool kit, Cinema Pro Cams lets users create cinematics in Unity using cameras that act just how they would in the real world. Select film lens size, aperture, aspect-ratio, stereoscopic 3D settings and more, all accurate to industry standards. Cinema Director and Cinema Pro Cams can be used together as a very powerful real-time previz tool in Unity, leveraging Unity’s real-time graphics rendering engine.

Users looking for a way to quickly create their own animations can use a Microsoft Kinect with Cinema Mo Cap, the first motion capture solution native to the Unity environment. Users can quickly put their project in motion, by capturing animations from the comfort of their studio or home. Simple animations can now be achieved without laborious manual key-framing, or renting a professional Mo-Cap studio at a huge expense. Models are automatically rigged and generated inside the Unity project, and are 100% compatible with Unity’s animation system.

Finally, users can fine-tune the overall atmosphere of their project with Cinema Themes, a vast collection of Look Up Textures (LUTs) for Unity Pro. Scenes can be made to look dark and horrific, happy and bright, or even out of this world in minutes. Users can choose from over 50 themes to help find that perfect mood.

Train2Game News GameMaker: Player

GameMaker StudioYoYo Games reveals a new service for GameMaker: Studio developers, GameMaker: Player.

GameMaker: Player is an application and a service that gives GameMaker: Studio developers a place to share their games not only with more than a Million monthly visitors to YoYo Games, but also with other gamers worldwide.

GameMaker: Player is an application dedicated to GameMaker: Studio that aims to serve a comprehensive range of game developer’s needs, from sharing concepts and early access builds to distributing finished games for free or paid on multiple devices and platforms.

“For as long as YoYo Games has been developing GameMaker, we have focused on providing everyone – from beginner to professional – with a simple and accessible solution that makes it easier for all to make, share and play their games” says Sandy Duncan, CEO of YoYo Games. “We are now taking a huge leap forward with the introduction of GameMaker: Player we’ve added brand new service that is extremely easy to use”.

All GameMaker: Studio developers, including those using the free version will be able to make their games available for the Windows version of GameMaker: Player. In order to make it available as a paid game or for other platforms, then a “Pro” license and additional “Export” license(s) will be required.

For developers keen to get involved, GameMaker: Player requires GameMaker: Studio 1.4 and will initially be released as part of the 1.4 beta program in the second half of October.

For end users, GameMaker: Player will also be available to download free of charge at the same time from www.yoyogames.com. At launch, the beta will support Windows, OSX and Linux.

Train2Game News Steam Game Discoverability

Valve logoValve has made some major changes to the way users discover games on its digital distribution platform Steam.

The new Discovery Update revamps the store’s home page and presents recommendations based on past purchases, recent gameplay and friend recommendations.

Also new is the curators list. Users can create their own list of games, based on a sci-fi theme for example, and recommend games based on their tastes for other players to see and subscribe to.

Steam will still retain some of its more traditional elements however, such as displaying popular new releases, recently updated games and top sellers. Users though will now be able to customise their homepage to display which of these categories they want to see.

Game searching has also been updated, and now allows users to discover titles by entering a tag or a basic description of a game they would be interested in playing.

Through a new traffic data analytics system, developers will be able to see where their game is appearing on the store, how many times it has been shown, and if those impressions have resulted in game page views.

The revamp is Valve’s response to the growing number of games being released on Steam. Since January, 1,300 new titles have been added to the marketplace, a significant increase on previous years and more than a third of the store’s total lifetime releases.. In total there are now more than 3,700 games on Steam.

Source: Develop

Train2Game News PEACEapp competition

PEACEappA new competition is searching for a game or app about facilitating peace or an idea for one.

The competition, PEACEapp, aims to showcase the work of developers who examine peace and promote games as venues for cultural dialogue and conflict management. PEACEapp is a joint project between UNDP, UNAOC and Build Up.

Sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the United Nations Development Programme, and Build Up, the competition will award the winning entries with $15,000 in cash prizes, an invitation to present their game at the Build Peace Conference in Cyprus, and exclusive mentoring and advising from Games for Change. The competition will consider entries at all stages of development, from prototypes to fully developed, with awards going to five games or apps—three completed works and two prototypes.

An international jury, which includes representatives from Games for Peace, the Institute for Economics and Peace, Fields of View, Games for Change, and more, will review submitted games and apps according to three values:

  • Affording users a novel experience to engage with knowledge of other groups and issues of identity
  • Creatively engaging players in a playful manner
  • Enabling connections to key social media globally, in terms of functionality, language and reach

Click here for a complete competition guidelines, and then submit your entry.

Train2Game News Batman Arkham Knight release date

Batman Arkham Knight Collectors EditionWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Batman: Arkham Knight is scheduled to release worldwide beginning June 2, 2015.

Also revealed, are two collector’s editions – Batman: Arkham Knight Limited Edition and Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile Edition. Both will be available in limited quantities at launch in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand for the PlayStation4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft. Batman: Arkham Knight Limited Edition will also be available in Europe, Australia and New Zealand for PC.

Batman: Arkham Knight Limited Edition will include:

· Custom Art Book – 80 Page, Full Colour Art Book Showcasing the concept art of Batman Arkham Knight
· Limited Edition SteelBook – Unique SteelBook case and game disc
· Comic Book – Limited Edition DC Comics Batman: Arkham Knight #0 Comic Book
· Exclusive Character Skin Pack – Three Unique Skins from DC Comics – The New 52
· Batman Memorial Statue – Imposing statue commemorating Gotham’s Protector, the Dark Knight
· SRP:
o Console – £89.99
o PC – £74.99

Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile Edition will include:

· Custom Art Book – 80 Page, Full Colour Art Book Showcasing the concept art of Batman Arkham Knight
· Limited Edition SteelBook – Unique SteelBook case and game disc
· Comic Book – Limited Edition DC Comics Batman: Arkham Knight #0 Comic Book
· Exclusive Character Skin Pack – Three Unique Skins from DC Comics – The New 52
· Transforming Batmobile Statue – Fully transformable Batmobile statue realised in exquisite detail by TriForce
· SRP: £169.99 (Console only)

Batman: Arkham Knight is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license and will be available exclusively for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC.

Batman: Arkham Knight brings the award-winning Batman: Arkham trilogy from Rocksteady Studios to its epic conclusion. Developed exclusively for the New Generation of consoles and PCs, Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile. The highly anticipated addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman: Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City. In this explosive finale, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city that he is sworn to protect, as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham and destroy the Batman forever.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 08.09.14

The Sims 4A new week, a new chart and a new number one in the form of the long awaited Sims 4 from EA. The question now is will The Sims 4 be able to retain its number one spot once one of the most anticipated games of the year, Destiny, is released tomorrow?

All formats

Week ending 6 September 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1   THE SIMS 4 EA GAMES
2 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 9
3 METRO REDUX DEEP SILVER 1
4 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED SONY COMPUTER ENT. 3
5 DIABLO III REAPER OF SOULS ULTIMATE EVIL BLIZZARD 2
6 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 5
7 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 8
8 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 4
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION 3 EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 11
10 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 7
11 MADDEN NFL 15 EA SPORTS 6
12 THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
13 TITANFALL EA GAMES 10
14 WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 18
15 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 14
16 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 20
17 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 16
18 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 19
19 SNIPER ELITE 3 505 GAMES 15
20 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 17
< previous week  

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 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 BlizzCon from home

BlizzconGrab your most comfortable chair and invite a few friends over to join Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo community celebration, taking place November 7 and 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Available for £ 24.99, the Virtual Ticket grants access to two exclusive channels of BlizzCon content on both days of the show, making it the next best thing to being there live. The BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket includes:

Developer Panels & Exclusive Interviews Get the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm news straight from the developers, and witness all of the epic moments as they happen live from the Main and Panel stages. In between, dig deeper into your favorite games in exclusive one-on-one interviews with Blizzard Entertainment designers, artists, and producers.

Community Contests—Hosted by Chris Hardwick Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and Talent Contest on Friday night. This year’s festivities will be emceed by stand-up comedian and podcaster Chris Hardwick, host of Comedy Central’s late night Internet-spelunking game show @midnight and creative head of geek-minded media network Nerdist Industries.

Closing Ceremony—Behold the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action—more details to be announced later.

On-Demand Replays—Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Epic Bonus Loot Unlock this year’s commemorative BlizzCon in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants early access to this year’s online BlizzCon merchandise sale, which will run from October 17 through November 11 and feature a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.

Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the opening ceremony and this year’s eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, Hearthstone World Championship, and Heroes of the Storm exhibition matches—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com.

More information on BlizzCon 2014 and the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com.

Train2Game News Blizzard hire Hearthstone player

HearthstoneA professional gamer has been hired by Blizzard to work on updates for the massively popular Hearthstone.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the card game based on the MMO World of Warcraft. Announced at the Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013, the game entered open beta in January 2014, and was released in March 2014. Hearthstone is available on the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and on iPad and Windows 8 Touch devices. iPhone and Android tablet platform releases are planned for the second half of 2014. As of March 2014, Hearthstone has more than 10 million player accounts registered worldwide.

One of those players, Ryan Materson, has now been employed by Blizzard as an associate designer and is expected to help with balancing the game for the new updates.

Materson, who is known as Realz, was the team leader of professional Hearthstone team, Mana Grind, before they disbanded. He is one of the most respected and talented professional players and this is what caught the eye of Blizzard.

On Reddit Materson said “This is a truly exciting opportunity for me, and (to rephrase from the words of someone I have long admired, who once entered a similar position) I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors and players at large that ‘one of us’ is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of the play. I really can’t wait to get started”.

Train2Game News Unity Award Winners 2014

unity-logoUnity Technologies, the creator of Unity, a flexible and high-performance development platform used to make creative and intelligent interactive 3D and 2D experiences, announced the winners of the 2014 Unity Awards at the 2014 Unite Conference in Seattle, WA.

Unity Technologies began the Unity Awards to honor the developers creating the best video games and interactive 3D and 2D applications using the Unity development platform. This year’s winners were chosen by a combined vote between Unity Technologies and the Unity community of developers. The winners are:

Best Student Project – The Rift: U.R.I.D.I.S. by URIDIS Team from ISART Digital
Best 3D Visual Experience – Monument Valley by ustwo
Best 2D Visual Experience – The Bridge by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Best Gameplay – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment
Technical Achievement – Shader Forge by Joachim Holmér
Best VizSim Project – Minto Longbranch Visualization from NVYVE
Best Non-game Project – Art and Skin by Alexx Henry Studios
Community Choice – Monument Valley by ustwo
Golden Cube – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment
The Unity Technologies team was the judges for the awards. In spring 2015, open nominations for the next Unity Awards will begin.