Train2Game News: Steam hits 6 million users

For our friends across the sea, it was Thanksgiving weekend last weekend. This is a time for family, being thankful and apparently Steam.

The digital distribution service from Valve managed to hit over 6 million users. The amount of players peaked at around 11:00 PST Sunday with 6,045,912 users logged on. This was probably due to the Autumn Sale and the waves of numerous major releases such as PlanetSide 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

That is concurrent logins however, not active game sessions—while games define the vanguard of Steam’s excellence, the numbers rise from simply having the program launched and running.

Looking at the Steam Graph Chart of what people are playing shows a fair spread across PC gaming’s most popular genres. Dota 2′s beta boasted a little over 170,000 simultaneous players late on Saturday, while football-sim Football Manager 2013′s surprising strength topped at around 60,000. On Sunday night Black Ops 2 spiked at 51,000 soldiers, and PlanetSide 2′s fight for Auraxia swelled to 30,000 Steam conscripts last night. Lastly, as many as 15,000 stone-faced killers were concurrently shoving sharp metal objects into various people in Assassin’s Creed 3.

It was only in January that Steam hit a then-high of five million concurrent users. To hit six within the same year shows just how popular the service and gaming is getting.

Train2Game News: Matty Wyett-Simmonds – Week 45

Week 45! Weeks are getting faster and faster I think. I’ve had a pretty awesome weekend as it was my birthday. I went out in Southampton for the night and hung out with some friends and my girlfriend flew down from Leeds as well which was cool! One of my birthday presents is a trip to Sea Life centre! Since I was only little I’ve always liked sharks, they’re awesome! Also it’s shark week there so bonus!

PlanetSide2 has been awesome too, Craig got a beta key as well now so we’ve been attempting to play it at the same time but Craig has a crappy computer at home and the servers are down every day during lunch time at work so I’ve still been playing on my own. If anyone actually has the beta come join in!

Not too much to say about work yet, sorry! It’s been the same as always, tight deadlines and what not. I had two late nights (10pm ish) and got my work done pretty quickly so that I could go home early on Friday to get home to Southampton. The release date for the current project is set and it’s very soon so you’ll all get your hands on it soon if you have a smart device of some sort. It’s a very tight deadline and we are probably going to be working nonstop to get everything done on time!

We have a new person coming to work for us soon that used to be here before, I think he’s jumping right in to this project asap which will be good! This project will be a bit bigger than My Sea Park hopefully, as it will be for a wider audience and a wider range of devices.

So yea, more late nights, more takeaway food and less sleep for me over the next month or so I think.

Til 46!

MattyWS

Train2Game news: PlanetSide 2 video shows design process for creating rifle scope

Train2Game Art & Animation students can get a great insight into the modelling process for weapons in PlanetSide 2, thanks to a video released by Sony Online Entertainment.

PlanetSide 2 senior artist Patrick Ho talks us through the construction of the NC Scope 4X in a time lapsed video.  You can watch below, right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Train2Game students can apply for a place in the upcoming PlanetSide 2 beta by visiting http://www.planetside2.com/. As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Sony Online Entertainment’s Creative Director Matt Higby says beta testing is crucial to the development of PlanetSide 2.

““For MMO games beta is critical. There is a lot we can do to test gameplay and mechanics in studio, but getting the massive scale needed to ensure the game really works requires getting real players in.” he said.

“It’s also critical to determine if our player progression curves are too punishing or too lenient, find exploits, balance issues and so on. Beta for us as a company is an incredibly critical phase of development.” the PlanetSide 2 creative director added.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog, for the latest beta testing opportunities.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the time lapsed modelling video?

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

Train2Game news: Beta testing “critical” to development says Planetside 2 Creative Director

Train2Game students will be aware that developing video games can be a long and complicated  process, in which QA Testing is hugely important.

However, no matter how many QA Testers a game has, sometimes it’s a beta that’s really needed to eliminate bugs and problems. Indeed, it’s something that’s particularly important for MMOs and Planetside 2 developer Sony has label beta testing as critical for that genre in particular.

“For MMO games beta is critical. There is a lot we can do to test gameplay and mechanics in studio, but getting the massive scale needed to ensure the game really works requires getting real players in.” Sony Online Entertainment’s Creative Director Matt Higby told NowGamer.

“It’s also critical to determine if our player progression curves are too punishing or too lenient, find exploits, balance issues and so on. Beta for us as a company is an incredibly critical phase of development.”

Higby also told NowGamer that during the Planetside 2 beta, Sony will be keeping a close eye on player feedback and that big betas have great benefits to game developers.

“Once we get to beta, we’ll be looking both at players’ direct feedback via bugs and message boards, as well as analyzing data that will be collected and aggregated.” he said

“The biggest benefits to a big beta are load and stress testing, testing across a diverse collection of hardware configurations, getting large sample sizes to determine if weapons and vehicles are balanced, and so on. We won’t be shipping anything until we’re all proud of it.” he added.

Train2Game students can apply for a place in the Planetside 2 beta here.

The Train2Game Blog has previously posted about the importance of beta testing, with Star Wars: The Old Republic developer Bioware stating that beta testers can really help with game development.

Beta testing is an excellent way for Train2Game students, especially those on the Games QA Tester course to practice their bug hunting skills. Not only that, but in an interview with the Train2Game blog, Trion Worlds Senior QA Tester Karl Tars said that beta testing is potentially a way to get into the industry.

Stay tuned to The Train2Game Blog, for the latest beta testing opportunities.

So Train2Game, are you looking forward to Planetside 2? Do you agree that beta testing is critical to the game development process?

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