Train2Game News Great British Summer Game Jam

Great British Summer Game JamMind Candy has partnered with Autodesk to encourage people to get into game development, promote the UK’s games industry and experiment with new technology and hardware in the first ever Great British Summer Game Jam.

The Jam will see development teams creating games around the “British Summer” theme to win a variety of prizes from the likes of Unity3d, Marmalade and PlayJam. Ukie is also supporting a special “Accessibility Award”, judged by accessibility consultant Ian Hamilton, for the game which is the most accessible to those with impairments and disabilities.

The Great British Summer Game Jam will run from Saturday 5th July to Sunday 6th July but teams will be encouraged to tinker with some of the new technology that Mind Candy has collected from various partners from Thursday 26th June to start preparing for their game. The technology for the jam is provided by partners Autodesk, Marmalade, Unity3d, Simplygon, Allegorithmic, PlayCanvas, PlayJam (GameStick), Simplygon and AMD. Anybody of any skill level can sign up, be it students or established developers, and take part remotely or in person at Mind Candy’s offices in East London, where jammers will be kept supplied with sustenance, funky office space, WiFi and power.

CTO of Mind Candy, Jeff Reynar said “At Mind Candy, we know from experience that a small game idea can turn into a massive break-out hit.  We love Game Jams and run them internally – they are a great way to discover and try out new ideas, or just to have fun! We are hugely excited to be hosting The Great British Game Jam in our London office and can’t wait to see what everyone creates!”

CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist said “We are really proud to be part of this fantastic initiative and to be supporting the Accessibility Award in particular. Jams like these are a great way to raise awareness around issues like accessibility and with today’s huge array of technology, tools, and ways to reach new audiences on different platforms, there has never been a more exciting time to make games. It will be fantastic to see what kind of creative and innovative projects come out of the Jam from some of the UKs best developers.”

The Jam kicks off with a briefing session and tech presentation at Mind Candy’s office today (Thursday 26th June). It will be recorded and put on online after for anybody who misses it. For more information or to register for the briefing session, follow this link – http://gbsgamejam.eventbrite.com

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 20.09.13

Andrew WilsonIt’s the end of the week so it is time for the industry news round up.

Electronic Arts’ exhaustive search for a new CEO led it to promote from within after all. The publisher today announced that executive VP of EA Sports Andrew Wilson is now the company’s CEO, replacing the seat left vacant by John Riccitiello’s resignation in March. EA executive chairman (and a former CEO of the company himself) Larry Probst will stay on as executive chairman for an undetermined length of time in order to assist Wilson with the transition to his new role.

Shinji Mikami, the father of survival horror, is back to direct The Evil Within, a game embodying the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story weave together to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC and is slated for release in 2014. A new trailer has been released for the game. If you are over eighteen and aren’t of a nervous disposition you can watch the trailer here, http://youtu.be/Z4WqOQTxisM

Blue Manchu is happy to announce that Card Hunter is finally available for all to play at www.cardhunter.com. Created in collaboration with legendary Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, Card Hunter is Irrational Games co-founder Jonathan Chey’s first game since BioShock. Its unique mix of card collecting, board gaming and fantasy role-playing is set to reinvigorate the collectible card gaming scene. Card Hunter is a free to play game.

Jasper Smith, CEO of PlayJam, the company behind the highly anticipated micro games console – GameStick, confirmed a Global on-sale release date for the device of Tuesday 29th October 2013. Retailers GameStop, GAME, and Amazon will partner for the launch with additional outlets in Canada, Europe and the Middle East receiving stock prior to the end of year Holiday season. The console, which broke onto the games scene in January of this year following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, has moved from paper to production in just 9 months.

Game Lab Social, a vibrant co-working space for creatives, is pleased to announce the opening of a new studio space in Leamington Spa designed to foster creativity, collaboration and knowledge sharing. As the vision of industry veterans Ollie Clarke and Steve Stopps and supported by Warwick District Council, Game Lab Social will open a space to work with local talent in specifically created workshops, on-site training and access to marketing, pitching and monetization expertise. Game Lab Social will also work to talent match, combining developer skills to create new development teams with the business infrastructure in place to support burgeoning talent, including graphic design, accounting and legal services.

Train2Game News: Etoo coming to London

EtooNot making it to E3 this year? Fear not: London will be getting its own indie gaming alternative, which will coincide with the major LA-based gaming convention.

Taking place at the Loading Bar in Soho from June 10 – 13, the brilliantly named, EToo will feature over 30 game developers showing off their latest projects on big screen TVs around the venue. The event is being sponsored by PlayStation, with GameStick, the forthcoming Android console from British tech company PlayJam, as a partner sponsor.

Developers set to show off new titles at the event include New Star Games (with an unseen new build of New Star Soccer!), Hello Games (Joe Danger), Mediatonic (showing forthcoming title, Foul Play), Nyamyam Games (Tengami), Big Robot (Sir You Are Being Hunted), Simon Roth (Maia), Tom Francis (Gunpoint), Tiniest Shark (Redshirt), Alistair Aitcheson (Slamjet Stadium), Curves Studios and Projector Games (Fortress Craft). Capcom will also be in attendance, running playable demos of Lost Planet 3 and the new HD version of classic platformer Duck Tales. More mainstream publishers are to be announced.

As headline sponsor, PlayStation will be in attendance, with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us playable, as well as innovative platform adventure Rain and perhaps some surprise extras. David Wilson, Head of PR for PlayStation UK said, “PlayStation is pretty excited about EToo. As well as giving attendees the chance to witness our E3 conference live, there’ll be loads of time to get hands on with a range of awesome games from the blockbuster, The Last Of Us, to the small but beautifully formed Rain”

PlayJam will be showing off its innovative Android console, GameStick, set for launch in July. Sameer R. Baroova, head of games at PlayJam commented, “What better way to celebrate the most exciting week in gaming than to spend it playing awesome games, meeting developers and gamers, and discussing all things gaming. We are  excited to show off GameStick at EToo, and are very glad to be a part of it. Cheers to Keith and Georg for putting this together.”

“This started off with me sulking on Twitter about not being able to go to E3,” says co-organiser Keith Stuart, the games commissioning editor at The Guardian. “Game developer Georg Backer replied and said we should do our own event. It probably should have ended there, but somehow it didn’t. The next thing is, Jimmy Dance, the owner of Loading Bar in Soho, was offering to host it. It was sort of like one of those Hollywood musicals – ‘hey, let’s put a show on right here’. But with less dancing.

“We’re hugely grateful to Sony and PlayJam for covering the costs of this crazy endeavour so I don’t have to explain to my wife why I’ve spent most of our life savings on hiring video equipment.”

Developers will demo their latest games throughout the day, as well as taking part in mini-talks and maybe even workshops. During the evenings, the event will also be running a live-streamed TV show from one corner of the bar, presented by Keith Stuart, Georg Backer and co-hosts including Rock Paper Shotgun writer Cara Ellison. Streamed via a dedicated YouTube channel and set to be embedded on the Guardian site, the programme will include E3 news and trailers, as well as developer interviews. Several guest stars are set to appear, including famed GoldenEye designer Martin Hollis. Popular gaming radio show OneLifeLeft will also stage a takeover event and mini-disco. More details soon!

EToo takes place from June 10-13. The daily developer event is free to attend for the public, but anyone interested needs to pre-register. The evening livestream show, taking place between 7pm and midnight every night, will cost £6 to attend. This includes a free drink. Tickets and pre-registrations are available at http://etoolondon.eventbrite.com.

For more information and regular updates, head to the official website  www.etoolondon.com and follow us on twitter @etoolondon

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 03.05.13

GameStickIt’s the end of the week and it is time for the Train2Game news round up!

Playjam, the team behind the much anticipated GameStick have released a new product ´explainer´ video. The product came under attack when people felt it didn’t live up to expectations. The console is not yet released however and only developers have had hands on. You can see their explainer video here: http://youtu.be/QlNjIzNZh4o

Gazillion Entertainment will be kicking off a Marvel Heroes “Iron Man 3” Open Beta Weekend beginning on Saturday, May 4 through to Monday May 6. This is to coincide with the release of the film. As part of the “Iron Man 3” Open Beta Weekend, new players who participate will be able to select an Avenger as their starting hero – including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow. In order access the Marvel Heroes “Iron Man 3” Open Beta Weekend, players should register now at www.MarvelHeroes.com. As the weekend approaches, an email will be sent with download instructions.

In further Marvel news prepare to Hero Up this autumn, when LEGO Marvel Super Heroes puts players in control of their favourite Super Heroes from the Marvel Universe. With more than one hundred memorable characters to choose from, each with their own unique powers and abilities, players are in for a brick-smashing adventure. In a new video released today, you’ll get a sneak peek at a few members of the Amazing, Mighty and Uncanny (hint) team who join forces to stop an array of Marvel villains. You can enjoy the trailer, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYAXHqCM-b4

Now for further LEGO news, The LEGO Group proudly announce that their latest, action-packed free mobile game LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles will be available to play on iOS devices as well as on the official LEGO website from May the Fourth 2013. This is of course, unofficially, Star Wars Day. Questing with Yoda or Count Dooku, players can choose to join the Light Side or the Dark Side in this new game. The LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles story and game intertwines with the 2013 LEGO Star Wars novelty products in a mix of real time laser battles, intricate dungeon crawling, lightsaber duels and tense space combat high above Coruscant.

Finally, Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios are proud to announce that one of the most anticipated free MMORPG’s of 2013, Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter, is officially in Open Beta. Free to download and play, Neverwinter is built for gamers who crave more action combat, adventure and glory out of MMOs. The major milestone of Open Beta marks the beginning of unrestricted access to Neverwinter and its content creation system, the Foundry, along with no further character wipes. For more information about Neverwinter and to begin playing the Open Beta now, please visit the official website: www.playneverwinter.com/

Train2Game News: GameStick Kickstarter earns over $600k

GameStickThe Android based GameStick has now finished its Kickstarter and it has made over 6 times more than it needed.

The GameStick is a new portable console that runs the android operating system. It is a very small stick, similar to that of a USB stick, with a HDMI connection so it can plug straight in to your HD TV. The stick can be stored inside of it’s specially made Bluetooth controller to keep it safe and compact. The GameStick will also work with other Bluetooth controllers.

GameStick´s purpose-built game store will be powered by PlayJam´s built-for-TV technology enabling users to browse, download content and interact with the wider GameStick community.

The campaign to fund the production of GameStick, which is set to ship in April 2013, closed on Friday with pledges coming in right up to the last second finishing at 648% of the original target with a total of $648k. Those that missed out on the Kickstarter campaign will be able to pre-order via the GameStick website at www.gamestick.tv.

Anthony Johnson, CMO, PlayJam said “We are overwhelmed, excited, grateful, thrilled and everything in between. The campaign has been an incredible success with support from thousands of backers worldwide but this is just the beginning. The feedback from the Kickstarter community has been invaluable in shaping the final product and we will continue to seek input from those that supported us to ensure continued innovation ahead of a global retail launch.”

Throughout the campaign the team responded to thousands of comments and suggestions from Kickstarter backers that saw the product evolve in real-time as the team scrambled to incorporate a number of requested features from additional memory capacity to support for peripheral hardware via a docking station.

GameStick, described as ‘The Most Portable TV games Console Ever Created’ has been hailed by many supporters as the console to disrupt the games industry. The device has gathered high profile supporters throughout the campaign such as; Jason Kingsley, (Founder of Rebellion), Jason Bradbury (Gadget Show host) Jermaine Dupri (Record producer) and Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball Legend).

You can download a SDK for the new device at www.gamestick.tv and start developing for a new consoling experience.