Train2Game News Nintendo Direct February 2022

The future for Nintendo Switch players in 2022 and beyond holds so many possibilities!

In the latest Nintendo Direct video presentation, Nintendo announced a diverse lineup of new games and content arriving for the Nintendo Switch system throughout this year. Nintendo also shared new details about previously announced games, including when players will be able to get their hands on them.

The Nintendo Direct featured footage and info about the next games in franchises like Xenoblade Chronicles 3; Nintendo Switch Sports, which is a new iteration of the Wii Sports series with online play; Mario Strikers: Battle League; and Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. There was also news about the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, featuring the addition of 48 remastered courses to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from throughout the Mario Kart series, accessed at no additional cost with a paid Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass membership or as paid downloadable content.** Plus, details were shown about the next wave of co-op mode Salmon Run in Splatoon 3, along with the announcement of its summer launch window. The classic RPGs EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings were also announced as coming to Nintendo Switch Online … later today!

 In addition, the presentation highlighted many games from Nintendo’s global publishing and development partners, including MLB The Show 22 on Nintendo Switch, a pair of reality-warping puzzle-platform games in the Portal: Companion Collection, and the high-octane, free-to-play Disney and Pixar combat racer Disney Speedstorm. The presentation also featured a number of remakes and remasters of classic games from SQUARE ENIX like CHRONO CROSS: THE RADICAL DREAMERS EDITION, FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake and FRONT MISSION 2: Remake, and, releasing for the first time outside of Japan, LIVE A LIVE!

“Looking at our announced 2022 launch calendar so far, Nintendo Switch players have a nearly back-to-back lineup composed of franchises starring familiar faces, popular favorites and exclusive originals to look forward to,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “We hope this lineup of games from Nintendo and our development and publishing partners brings smiles to the faces of everyone who owns a Nintendo Switch system, or anyone who’s thinking about picking one up.”

To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit https://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct/02-09-2022/. Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:

  • Nintendo Switch Sports: Swing, kick and spike your way to victory with a collection of sports that puts you right into the action! Play together in person*** or online* with family and friends, or challenge friendly competitors near and far in the new iteration of the classic Wii Sports series. Turn your real-world actions into in-game movements using Joy-Con controllers and compete in six sports, including Soccer, Volleyball, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton and Chambara (swordplay). You can even use a Joy-Con with the Leg Strap accessory included in the physical version to kick the ball in a Soccer Shoot-Out! Plus, a seventh sport is planned to be added via a free update this fall – get ready to Golf! Get active and get into the game when Nintendo Switch Sports launches on April 29! Pre-orders begin today in Nintendo eShop. An online play test will also be available for Nintendo Switch Online members on Feb. 18, Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. Visit https://nintendoswitchsports.nintendo.com for more details.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass: A total of 48 remastered courses from across the Mario Kart series will be coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as paid downloadable content! Eight courses will be released at a time over six waves by the end of 2023, which can all be played locally** or online.* You can enjoy the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass at no additional cost with a paid Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership or purchase it on its own for $24.99. Courses such as Wii Coconut Mall, N64 Choco Mountain and Tour Tokyo Blur will be included in the first wave.**** The first wave of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass will launch on March 18. Pre-orders for the DLC begin today in Nintendo eShop.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: A vast world awaits in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the next game in the acclaimed RPG series from developer MONOLITHSOFT. Players will step into the roles of protagonists Noah and Mio amid turmoil between the hostile nations of Keves and Agnus. Six characters hailing from those nations will take part in a grand tale with “life” as its central theme. Explore a new world that will connect the futures of both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, launching for Nintendo Switch in September 2022.
  • Mario Strikers: Battle League: Prepare for Strike, a five-on-five soccer-like sport with no rules – do whatever it takes to win! In this game, you can tackle, use items and activate special shots. Up to eight players – four players on each team – can compete against each other on one Nintendo Switch system.*** In addition to individual matches, online* play will let 20 players join up and compete to become the world’s top club. The main rule in this sport is to rule the field! Mario Strikers: Battle League launches for Nintendo Switch on June 10. Pre-orders begin today in Nintendo eShop.
  • MLB The Show 22: For the first time ever, the MLB The Show series is coming to Nintendo Switch! In MLB The Show 22, players can experience modes like the fan-favorite RPG mode Road to the Show and online card-collecting mode Diamond Dynasty at home or on the go. Face your friends with cross-platform play*, and with cross progression, continue your progress and earn and use content on other console platforms where MLB The Show 22 is available. MLB The Show 22 launches for Nintendo Switch on April 5. Pre-orders are available now in Nintendo eShop.
  • CHRONO CROSS: THE RADICAL DREAMERS EDITION: A remaster of the acclaimed RPG CHRONO CROSS is coming to the Nintendo Switch system! A number of enhancements have been made to this RPG classic, like the ability to turn off enemy encounters and a newly refined soundtrack. Plus, RADICAL DREAMERS is included! Experience the origins of CHRONO CROSS in this text-based adventure. Two worlds cross when CHRONO CROSS: THE RADICAL DREAMERS EDITION dashes and slashes its way onto Nintendo Switch on April 7. Pre-orders begin today in Nintendo eShop.
  • Portal: Companion Collection: In the award-winning games Portal and Portal 2 from Valve Software, the Portal Gun is your key to surviving imprisonment in a mysterious lab. Create portals and warp to other areas and possibly find … cake? You can pass through portals – and so can cubes, lasers and robots with unnerving levels of personality. Portal 2 adds in local***, online* and split-screen multiplayer*** modes. You’re in for a puzzling treat when Portal: Companion Collection warps onto Nintendo Switch in 2022.
  • Splatoon 3: Get ready to make a splash with the next game in the Splatoon series. A new trailer showed off the next wave of the Salmon Run co-op mode in Splatoon 3, which will include fresh new features. A giant Salmonid, one that’s never been seen before, can also be spotted at the end of the trailer. Will the Inklings and Octolings ink or swim? Find out when Splatoon 3 launches on Nintendo Switch this summer!
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land: A new trailer for Kirby’s latest unforgettable 3D platforming adventure introduced Mouthful Mode! With Mouthful Mode, Kirby can inhale real-world objects and transform into a car to zoom around, a vending machine to attack with juice cans … or even become a piercing cone, to name just a few examples. If Kirby evolves his copy abilities at Waddle Dee’s Weapons Shop, which is located in Waddle Dee Town, his appearance will change and he’ll become even more powerful. Can Kirby rescue the Waddle Dees and restore peace to this mysterious world? Find out when Kirby and the Forgotten Land launches for Nintendo Switch on March 25.
  • Disney Speedstorm: Get set for a high-octane Disney and Pixar combat racer! From the creators of the Asphalt series comes rip-roaring racing action with a legendary roster of characters and high-speed Disney- and Pixar-inspired racetracks. Disney Speedstorm is a free-to-play game with new seasons added regularly, bringing more exciting Disney and Pixar characters, circuits and karts. Plus, enjoy cross-platform play, as well as split-screen*** and online* multiplayer modes. Disney Speedstorm races onto Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • No Man’s Sky: Explore an infinite universe where every star is the light of a distant sun, each orbited by planets filled with life, and you can go to any of them you choose! Build anything – from small outposts to complex multi-planet colonies. Scavenge for resources, recruit allies and fight to survive. This infinite, procedurally generated universe has unique places, creatures and more for you to discover. No Man’s Sky lands on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • EarthBound / EarthBound Beginnings: Join Ness, Paula, Jeff and Poo in their quest to fulfill an age-old prophecy to stop the wicked Giygas (and maybe catch a Runaway Five concert along the way) in the fan-favorite Super NES classic EarthBound. In addition, travel back to 198X for EarthBound Beginnings, a localized version of the original Famicom Mother game. Both EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings are coming to Nintendo Switch Online … later today!
  • Metroid Dread Update: A free update launches today for Metroid Dread! Getting hit even once causes a game over in the brutal Dread Mode difficulty. And if you’re new to the Metroid series, take advantage of increased recovery with the newly added Rookie Mode difficulty. A second free update in April will add a Boss Rush mode, in which you’ll battle bosses continuously, one at a time.
  • Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp: New intel has arrived from the frontlines! Advise a memorable cast of Commanding Officers, now voiced, through two wild and charming Campaigns. You’ll encounter unique characters and diverse terrain, requiring you to develop strategies to succeed in battle. Beyond the campaigns of Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, go for high scores in the War Room, create and share custom maps in the Design Room, and battle friends and frenemies in Local and Online Multiplayer. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp marches onto the Nintendo Switch system on April 8.
  • STAR WARS: The Force Unleashed: Unleash the power of the Force in this classic Star Wars action-adventure. As Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice, you’ll use devastating Force powers and lightsaber combos as you hunt down Jedi Masters on familiar planets. Use button controls, or opt for motion controls*****, enhanced from the original Wii version. You can also duel locally with a friend to determine who is the galaxy’s most powerful Jedi. STAR WARS: The Force Unleashed launches on Nintendo Switch on April 20. Pre-orders begin today in Nintendo eShop.
  • Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection: The complete saga of legendary assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze awaits in three acclaimed Assassin’s Creed games. Explore Renaissance Italy and 16th-century Constantinople, interact with historical figures and discover secrets of the Creed across three games, two bonus short films and DLC. Plus, take advantage of enhanced features for the Nintendo Switch version on the go, including touch-screen controls, HD rumble and optimized on-screen display. Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection launches on Nintendo Switch on Feb. 17.
  • Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course: Another helping of Cuphead action awaits in the paid DLC Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course! This time around, Cuphead and Mugman are joined by Ms. Chalice for a rollicking adventure, where you’ll explore the new Inkwell Isle and use some of Ms. Chalice’s new moves like double jumps and rolling dodges. Defeat a bevy of new bosses with their own distinct personalities, not to mention wild and monstrous attacks. Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course wallops its way onto Nintendo Switch on June 30.
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival: The latest Taiko no Tatsujin game is coming to Nintendo Switch! Drum to 76 boppin’ beats, including an orchestral version of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda, as well as “Gurenge,” “Feel Special” and “Racing into the Night.” Face off against each other in the new mode, Great Drum Toy War, or put on a live concert with friends in DON-chan Band. Plus, a paid in-game subscription service that gives you access to over 500 songs will be available at launch. Drum to your heart’s content when Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival launches on Nintendo Switch in 2022.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes: Join Fire Emblem: Three Houses characters as you engage in massive battles across a war-torn Fódlan. Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude and other Fire Emblem: Three Houses characters return to put their combat expertise on display. Unleash devastating combos and stunning special moves in action-packed, real-time combat. Cut through hordes of enemies as characters from the Fire Emblem: Three Houses game. Take down dozens of foes with Edelgard’s axe or Dimitri’s lance, or blast enemies from a distance with Claude’s bow. Slash, swing and spear your way to a brighter future for Fódlan. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes launches for Nintendo Switch on June 24.
  • LIVE A LIVE: Previously unreleased outside of Japan, the RPG game LIVE A LIVE is releasing on the Nintendo Switch system in the HD-2D style! Seven different stories featuring different protagonists, time periods and gameplay styles await. In the Wild West, a wanderer with a bounty on his head fights for his life. In the Twilight of Edo Japan, a shinobi undertakes a secret mission. Experience these tales in any order you choose – the adventure is yours to control. A journey of discovery awaits you when LIVE A LIVE launches for Nintendo Switch on July 22. Pre-orders begin today in Nintendo eShop.
  • TRIANGLE STRATEGY: The tactical RPG TRIANGLE STRATEGY is almost here, and a new demo that lets you play from Chapter 1 to the end of Chapter 3 is available now in Nintendo eShop. Save data from the demo can be transferred to the full game once purchased. The protagonist Serenoa and his allies will be engulfed in the conflict among the three nations. Your choices and conviction will determine their fate when TRIANGLE STRATEGY launches for Nintendo Switch on March 4.
  • FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake / FRONT MISSION 2: Remake: A full remake of the first FRONT MISSION game is storming onto Nintendo Switch! In this tactical RPG, you’ll pilot weaponized machines called Wanzers and lead your battalion to victory. Gain the upper hand in battle by aiming for enemy parts to destroy and uncover the great storyline of this classic game. Prepare for battle when FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake launches on Nintendo Switch this summer. The sequel FRONT MISSION 2: Remake will also launch on Nintendo Switch in the future.
  • Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil are coming to Nintendo Switch! Run, jump and hover while firing Wind Bullets to grab and throw enemies across dreamy side-scrolling levels, using each level’s surroundings to your advantage. Take on great adventures when Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series launches on Nintendo Switch on July 8.
  • GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon: Death is not the end: Defeat infernal foes until you die and carry on the fight with your eternal soul and memories in a new body! GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon combines intense Ukiyo-e style roguelike action with a stunning dark fantasy world, brought to life through traditional Japanese art. While death is not the end, the world of Hell lives and breathes, presenting new layouts and challenges to overcome with each attempt. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon launches for Nintendo Switch … later today!
  • SD GUNDAM BATTLE ALLIANCE: Strange incidents called Breaks are occurring across the GUNDAM universe. Find out what’s causing them and restore the proper timeline in SD GUNDAM BATTLE ALLIANCE. You’ll lead three Mobile Suits in dynamic action-RPG battles, with the ability to enhance each suit with Parts to improve their power. You can also battle alongside friends in online co-op multiplayer. SD GUNDAM BATTLE ALLIANCE launches on Nintendo Switch in 2022.
  • KINGDOM HEARTS INTEGRUM MASTERPIECE for Cloud: From the very first KINGDOM HEARTS to KINGDOM HEARTS III and the + Re MIND (DLC), three KINGDOM HEARTS collections are coming to Nintendo Switch as cloud versions that can be played while connected to the internet. Relive fond memories from previous playthroughs or get to know these heart-filled adventures for the first time alongside Sora, Donald and Goofy on Nintendo Switch. KINGDOM HEARTS INTEGRUM MASTERPIECE for Cloud, containing all three game collections, soars onto Nintendo Switch on Feb. 10! Each collection will also be available individually to purchase in Nintendo eShop.******

The Nintendo Direct presentation also featured a montage of upcoming Nintendo Switch games, including LEGO Brawls, a fast-paced LEGO take on multiplayer*** platforming launching this summer; Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles, an exhilarating arena fighter launching on June 10; Two Point Campus, the campus-building simulation game launching on May 17 with a full courseload of joie de vivre; and Zombie Army 4, a pulse-pounding sequel in the ultimate undead action series, launching for the Nintendo Switch system on April 26.

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/.

Train2Game News Student creates Online Gaming and Development platform Plasis Games

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Train2Game student creates gaming platform www.plasisgamesportal.com which now hosts 30 free to play games and will distribute larger titles in the future.

Train2Game student Sean Brady, 27, from Dublin, Ireland, enjoyed learning to make games and created a few titles of his own while studying with Train2Game. After searching for Distribution he was unsatisfied with the options available and decided to create his own platform for releasing titles.

He has now created Plasis Games, an independent Game Development / Publishing Studio based in Dublin, Ireland.  Initially the portal was envisioned as the central point for the game development studio and publishing platform of Plasis Games. But it has now expanded into hosting online games and plans to distribute externally created games in the future.

Plasis Games plans to provide games for both the casual and hardcore market which is why it has opened up various channels of games distribution, to bring different types of games to different types of Gamers.

Interview with Sean Brady
“I have been a gamer since I was 6 six years of age and still play games religiously to this day. My regular day job includes a combination of Technical Support and Systems/Network engineering. My main role is that of a NOC (Network Operations Center) Engineer.”

“From the very moment I started playing games like Ghouls and Ghosts and Broken Sword of the age of 6, the games provided with such joy and fun that I seeked to create more of it in the world. From my own perspective, games are the best medium for fun, interest, storytelling and expression. Nothing in my life has encompassed all my concentration to same level. They are pure bliss…”

“My dream is to enter the gaming industry in a full-time capacity and have my own development studio, online arcade and publishing house for games. I also want to integrate digital/physical media publishing for all industries as they all use the same mediums.”

Creating Plasis
“Once I achieved a level of competent Game Development, I looked for an appropriate Distributor for my games. Each publisher has its own guidelines that must be adhered too and imposed restrictions. After extensive research and by utilising my skillset in the networking domain, I knew I could create a better platform with better guidelines/features for myself and others in a similar situation.”

“The team is just myself at present. Another developer would just taint my vision. I have made the sacrifices to learn all disciplines involved to action such an endeavour. I will initiate it, implement it and finalise then there will be room for expansion with myself at the helm.”

The Platform
“I have been working on this portal, developing contacts, sourcing games and developing games internally for the studio of Plasis Games since May 2014. I have developed a number of small games internally and college projects outside the time of Plasis Games. For Plasis Games, I am still developing one 2D point and click horror adventure game and one survival horror game. The site has 30 from free flash game providers (with another 2500+ to process – not monetised) 30 from a HTML5 game development company – PlayCityInc (with 30 to process and more to source when needed – all monetised)”

“The publishing platform/online arcade has been implemented to a small degree with a collection of 60+ games added. 2500+ flash games have been collected for processing and addition; time is limited due to life circumstances. Also 30 of the games on the site at present have been provided by another partnering company called PlayCityInc or PlaytoMax. I have another 30 to upload then I can request more when necessary.”

“The website has been designed, uploaded, tested and verified. It is functionality but the user interface and graphical transitions between all pages will be revised and improved over time with significantly better art and sound. No development studio portions have been added but prototype of game levels and functionality have been created internally.”

Train2Game
“I enjoyed the course in Train2Game a lot as it provided all the fundamentals for developers to establish a base skill level before progressing. I had done art, design and programming before and the course from Train2Game was a course provided to me through an educational initiative. The quality of the content and guidance provided surprised in actuality. If you need to get started in game development, Train2Game is the first resource I would direct people too…”

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com

Train2Game News: J.J Abrams and Gabe Newell could collaborate

Valve logoValve CEO, Gabe Newell and top film director, J.J Abrams hit the stage at the DICE summit in Las Vegas and announced they had been talking about working together.

After a back-and-forth about player agency and storytelling, Newell revealed that the duo had been “recapitulating a series of conversations going on,” and that they’re now ready to “do more than talk”: Newell suggested “either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie,” and Abrams said he’d like to make a game with Valve.

Valve are one of the top games developers with games such as Half Life and Portal under their belts which have incredible game play mechanics that make them fan favourites.

J.J Abrams on the other hand is one of the best directors at the moment, responsible for the reboot of the Star Trek films and is taking the helm on the new Star Wars films. Abrams has also worked on TV Series such as Lost and Fringe.

The two men working together could bring forth incredible games with the mechanics of Valve and storytelling of Abrams. In addition, in my opinion, there would be no man better to direct a Portal or Half Life movie than Mr Abrams.

In 2010, Newell said that if Valve were to make a Half-Life movie, it wouldn’t hand over control to any Hollywood studio, saying:

“There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they’d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of.

“That’s when we started saying ‘Wow, the best thing we could ever do is to just not do this as a movie, or we’d have to make it ourselves.’”

There are no details on Newell and Abrams’ project—be it game, film, or both—outside of the tease that they’re talking. They are talking and I am sure that can only mean good things.

Train2Game News: Steam Greenlights concepts

Valve has introduced a new area to Greenlight where developers can upload concepts and get feedback from the public.

Concepts are free to post for feedback but won’t be distributed. The idea is to get opinions from the community. Examples of concepts already uploaded are Portal expansion Afterword, Elevator Engineer, Savegame Explorer, first/third-person logic shooter B.R.I.S.k, Vertex Wars and more.

This is a good place to see how a game idea would do out on the market which can be invaluable information. It can stop you working on a part of a game that might not be so popular with the paying public, giving you more time to concentrate on another part that is popular.

In addition Steam now allows software to be submitted to Greenlight. It follows the same rules as games do on Greenlight. That is, there’s a submission fee ($100) and the community votes whether they want to see the app/software released on Steam.

Steam Greenlight has been generally updated to show friends’ favourites and recent news on the home page, plus some other minor extras.

To date, thirty games have been ‘greenlit’ by Steam including the Half-Life mod Black Mesa and Project Zomboid. The only game to have been released from the service so far is McPixel.

Portal recreated in LittleBigPlanet 2 beta

More evidence has emerged of just how creative it’ll be possible to be with LittleBigPlanet 2. A video from the beta has appeared online, and it shows how one user has recreated Portal using the tools in LittleBigPlanet 2!

It reconfirms the fact that LittleBigPlanet 2 could be the Train2Game students dream with the Portal level just being the latest in a line of unique levels created during LittleBigPlanet 2’s beta test. Other games recreated using LittleBigPlanet 2 include indie game Flower, and Street Fighter.

You can watch Portal – complete with working Portal gun – recreated in LittleBigPlanet 2 in the video below.


LittleBigPlanet 2 is set for release in January 2011, after the original November launch date was moved back.

Meanwhile, Portal 2 is also scheduled for release near the start of next year, on February 9thYou can watch a Portal 2 trailer starring Stephen Merchant here. Alternatively, you can watch these trailers showing how the new inclusions of Faith Plates and Repulsion Gel work.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the LittleBigPlanet 2 Portal level? And if you had to choose one of the two, would you go for Portal 2 or LittleBigPlanet 2?

You can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

(Source: Edge Online Twitter)

Updated Portal 2 trailer starring Stephen Merchant as Wheatley

Portal 2Valve have released an updated trailer for their upcoming first person puzzler sequel Portal 2, and this time it stars Stephen Merchant as your robot pal Wheatley. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Stephen Merchant co-wrote and starred in The Office and Extras with Ricky Gervais. (Ricky Gervais isn’t in Portal 2, but has played himself at the comedy club in Grand Theft Auto IV)

The updated Portal 2 trailer demonstrates Stephen Merchant’s new Wheatley with it’s previous wit and dry humour, except this time with a slight West Country accent. Valve, being their usual cunning selves, previously said that Portal 2’s Wheatley was being voiced by ‘some guy from the office’ Can you see what they did there? Valve you clever wordsmiths.

The updated Portal 2 trailer also displays some of the new rendering effects in the game takes a closer look at Aperture Science. Portal 2 definitely looks a lot prettier than its predecessor! You can watch the updated Portal 2 trailer with Stephen Merchant below, but be aware it does contain spoilers for those who’ve not yet played the original Portal.


Portal 2 is scheduled for release on February 9th 2011.

The updated Portal 2 trailer could also make interesting viewing for Train2Game students (So long as you don’t want spoilers from Portal revealed!) who want to add voice work into their games in future. How important do you think choosing the right actor is? Do you think Stephen Merchant fits Portal 2’s character of Wheatley?

And of course, how much are you looking forward to Portal 2? Have any Train2Game students not played the original?

You can leave your thoughts on Portal 2 and in-game voice work here or on the Train2Game forum.

Polycount contest winners work to become part of Team Fortress 2

Get with it indeed.

The Engineer Update is still very much a new thing, but even more new items for Team Fortress 2 are already in the works. This time however, it isn’t Valve who’ve been the creative force behind new weapons and hats, but members of Polycount – a video game art and resource community.  (Perhaps our Train2Game Artist & Animator students should join the site if they’re not already members)

Valve and Polycount teamed up to members of the art community the chance to create items that will actually be used in Team Fortress 2. The brief went:

“Pick a single Team Fortress 2 class and create a minimum of three custom items for them. These items can be made up of any combination of weapons (melee, primary, secondary), Engineer buildings and/or hats. These items must be cohesively themed and fit within the Team Fortress 2 universe and time period. Make sure your replacement item set maintains the existing functionality of the original items they’re replacing, specifically any Primary, Secondary or Melee weapons you replace in your set.”

The content received an overwhelming response with over 70 sets – that’s at least 210 items – submitted by artists and designers. Now, Valve have managed to judge the entries and have selected five item sets that will eventually be released into Team Fortress 2. That’s after Valve work out how they’ll “attach gameplay attributes (probably of a game destroying nature) to these items.”  – Yeah, that quotes taken directly from the Team Fortress 2 blog!

which Polycount item sets will soon be available to all Team Fortress 2 players then?  Well, they are a heavy duty Tank Buster pack for The Soldier, a Milk Man themed item set for The Scout, 1950’s Gas station attendant gear for The Pyro, a nifty Saharan get up for The Spy, and finally ‘The Croco-Style Kit’ for The Sniper.  All of the items look very impressive and you can feast your eyes on them by visiting the Team Fortress 2 Polycount Pack Winners page.

Of course this isn’t the first time Valve have encouraged other Game Designers, Game Developers and Game Artist and Animators to contribute to their projects. After all, Counter Strike started as a community run fan project, while Portal was originally developed by students. Aspiring designers have already seen their maps and items become official in previous Team Fortress 2 updates thanks the Contribute! initiative.

Regular readers will know that this isn’t the first time I’ve praised Valve’s scheme and encouraged Train2Game students to get involved. It really does seem like it would be a good idea for Train2Game Designers to produce something. After all, you could strike it lucky and end up seeing your hard work on display in a game played by millions of people worldwide. Even if your items don’t get into the game, time practicing designing items can only be useful to your future career in the games industry.

So, what do you think of Valve’s enthusiasm for community developed items? Do you think you’ll be getting involved? How many of you play Team Fortress 2?

As usual, leave your comments here or on the Train2Game forum.