Train2Game News Student in BAFTA programme

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Indie Developer taught by Train2Game selected for BAFTA programme

Nicola Valcasara amongst the elite of the UK games industry accepted to join BAFTA Crew Games 2014

Professional video games creator who learnt his craft with Train2Game, joins experienced UK games developers in exclusive BAFTA scheme. Nicola Valcasara has taken one of 100 places available for Game Practitioners requiring at least two years professional experience in the games industry in the UK. The programme provides exclusive access to: Games Industry mentors, live QAs and podcasts, networking opportunities and scientific research in Game Design. 

Nicola has an outstanding reputation in the Train2Game community, having won a previous design competition with Rapid2D. He now works with another previous TrainGame student, Darroch McNaught, at Indie studio DeuXality Games. He’s set to learn a tremendous amount from  the course, masterclasses and online livestreams cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games 2014 is an interactive programme – working with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs.

Working with partners Creative Skillset and Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games 2014 will shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.

Nicola Valcasara, “I applied at the BAFTA Crew games 2014 in September, thanks to a research on the net about funding and game developing events. Now I have been accepted, this is a very nice way to show my face around and I hope it will move me one step further inside the Games Industry. This is a great opportunity to be involved in an interactive programme focused on making wonderful products and allowing me to meet important people in the game industry. I’ll also get to meet the other 99 people like me and share ideas and future projects.”

Train2Game News: Something Money Can’t Buy

NicolaHi guys, I’m Nicola, the winner of the Rapid2D competition that you can see on the front page of the Train2game site.

Nicolas chequeThis article is partially to share a world of thanks to the people at Train2game that helped me and continue to support me to reach my dream, partially for all the people that write on the forum asking questions like “is this real or is it a scam?” , “should I start this course?” and “will I gain success?”…

Nicola Modern JagoBut, above all, this article is for you, students that, like me, are inside Train2Game to follow your dreams.

On June 18, thanks to Eric Wiltsher and Harry Cole, I spent a wonderful, amazing, unforgettable day meeting famous people inside the game industry.

Andrew Webber (Microsoft), Nicola, Andy Payne

Andrew Webber (Microsoft), Nicola, Andy Payne

I had a tour in the Microsoft Lift London Studios (Soho, London) and I saw a real team working on a game. I shook the hands of people like Andrew Webber, Ian Livingstone, Andy Payne, Lee Schuneman, and I received more than 6 hours of mentoring about how to become someone inside the games industry. Precious information that certainly will help me.

Nicola and Philip Oliver

Nicola and Philip Oliver

When, 8 months ago, I started the course never, if someone said “Nicola, prepare yourself because the next year you will meet the life president of Eidos” I wouldn’t have believed it and never would have I felt so close to changing my life for the better.

Ian Livingstone

Ian Livingstone

So, for all of you that sometimes feel bad and think that nothing will change, keep focused on your dreams, take ALL the opportunities that Train2Game gives you and you’ll find that surely you’ll be rewarded.

Great Future, my friends.

Nicola Valcasara

Train2Game News: The future’s a game as Nicola’s incredible journey across Europe pays off

Nicola When Nicola Valcasara faced nothing but dead-end jobs in his home-town of Verona, he went on an incredible journey which ended on the doorstep of one of the world’s biggest companies.

The ambitious Italian rode almost 2000 miles through Italy, France and the UK on his Honda motorbike to seek his fortune.

Nicola, aged 26, of Lowerstoft Close, south east London, said: “I was delivering pizzas in Italy and working in an amusement park, anything to get by really, but then I found myself out of work for a year…

“I’d always had the ambition to work in the games industry but there are no real opportunities anywhere in Italy. I’d spent months applying to companies but got no response.

“I couldn’t see any future at home and one day I just jumped on my motorbike and rode off into the night with my heart set on finding work.”

After five days of travelling across Europe Nicola finally arrived in London. “It wasn’t that I believed the streets were paved with gold but I knew it was a major centre for the games industry and that’s all I wanted to get in to.”

David Cameron has made the video games and apps industry one of his main focuses of the UK’s economic recovery offering major tax breaks to companies offering new jobs and opportunities to talented people and financial support to major organisations. But Nicola’s arrival in the capital was a nightmare – within 24 hours a gang tried to steal his motorbike and a few days later he was conned out of £300 by a company which promised to get him into the games industry.

“It was terrible, I’d parked my bike in the street and five men tried to steal it – the police woke me up at 3am. The next blow was meeting up with a man who convinced me that his firm could teach me what I needed to know to realise my techy ambitions. They ripped me off. I was pretty despondent.”

Nicola and chefs

“I didn’t know he was in the competition. When he told us he had won we were in shock. He’s a very quiet guy, then out of nowhere he told us he had won £10,000”, head chef Sandro Jaupi

But within ten days Nicola had found himself a job as a chef in one of London’s top restaurants.

“Things were looking up and I have always enjoyed cooking – but it still wasn’t what I was looking for. I knew Microsoft’s London offices weren’t far from where I was working and I’d always wanted the chance to prove my abilities to them in particular. It was like I was standing on the doorstep of a dream.”

Nicola started burning the midnight oil in a bid to break in to the games industry. “I used my wages to pay for aTrain2Game course, one of the biggest training colleges in the UK, and right away I began making games and apps.”

It was then he entered the national Rapid2D development competition to find the best apps created for Microsoft’s Windows 8. Nicola was amazed to hear he’d won the top prize of £10,000. Part of the prize was to see his work go up on line, a visit to Microsoft’s new centre in London and to receive mentoring from Gurus.

Myra and Andrew presenting the cheque

“I can’t believe it – it was worth that incredible journey through the nights on a motorbike from Italy. Now I have money in the bank, I’m learning to build games which is my real ambition and I’ve got an introduction to Microsoft. I feel like I’m really on top of life.”

Dr. Jan Telensky senior JV of Train2Game where Nicola is learning said: “We think Nicola has done really well and what a journey he went on to get here. We wish him all the best. This really is an exciting time to get into the industry, particularly with the Government tax breaks and the support of major organisations. Our students are becoming main players in games design.”

Nicola coaching Andrew

Nicola coaching Andrew Weber, Microsoft at Le Mercury {deuxiéme}

Nicola chefs and cheque

Sandro Jaupi, head chef (Nicola’s boss)

How do you feel about Nicola winning?

Absolutely amazing,

He has worked for us for around 5 months.

He really likes gaming; all he talks about is gaming in the kitchen.

He works in the kitchen for a job but his heart is set on making games, this is like a dream come true for him.

Nicolas cheque

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio – Sam Henderson

Sam HendersonLast week I got to interview Sam Henderson who was the runner up in the Rapid2D competition. Sam told me about how he came to Train2Game and how he found working with the engine and Windows 8.

You can listen to the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1366288-train2game-student-sam-henderson-shares-his-prize-from-rapid2d

Or read the following transcript:

My name’s Sam Henderson, doing the Train2Game developer course and I live in Darlington.

Hi Sam, how you doing mate?

I’m good thanks

Excellent, so tell me who you are and what have you done lately?

Well at the moment just trying to be a games developer, went to university for 2 years, didn’t like it, went on Train2Game, learnt loads from that.

I understand you worked with the Rapid2D engine recently, you were part of the competition weren’t you?

Yeah

How did that go?

I came second, I was runner up.

Yeah and what did you have to do for the competition?

Just design games for Windows 8.

How did you find working with Rapid2D and Windows 8 and all of that?

A lot easier than I thought! It was difficult to get used to it but when I did get used to it, it was perfect to use. A lot easier than I thought it was going to be.

Excellent, so what sort of games did you make?

I made a Space Game, I used templates that they provided to us and just tried to edit them. I used a couple of quiz games based on the template they provided us with and I just went from there really.

You had to make a certain amount of games to enter didn’t you? How many?

Yeah it was 5 to enter then for every one you get an extra entry. I made I think it was twenty three in total.

That must have been quite some work!

Yeah, day and night!.

Yeah, who needs sleep!? So was that on your own you did that?

Yeah I was on my own.

You said you were at University and didn’t enjoy it that much. What was it about University that you weren’t into so much?

Um, because we were quite a big class, because games programming is quite popular, I didn’t get the support, the one to one support, I wanted and needed. So the lecturers came in, dealt with the people they liked and who stood out more to them but for people like me who stay back, stay quiet, through certain things, it was a bit harder for me to grasp everything but then I found Train2Game and I found everything a lot, lot easier, a lot more support, got the forum and got the Tutors. It was so much easier to use. In my own time as well.

How did you find out about Train2Game?

I think it was an ad through Facebook!

So how did you initially get into games development? What sparked off your interest for it?

Well my initial games interest was from when I was a kid, I had a lot of free time because I was in hospital quite a bit because I fell in a river and got an ear infection and lost hearing in my ear. So I was in and out of hospital every now and again and I had a games console to play while recovering. That sparked my interest in games and as I progressed through life I just wanted to do more with games and try and produce them myself and get more involved in development for them.

Excellent. So where would you like to end up working in the games industry?

Not sure! Anywhere that’s willing to take me really.

You haven’t got any ambitions to work at any of the big companies or anything like that?

Well I suppose probably my favourite one to work for would probably be Bethesda, working on the Fallout or The Elder Scroll games.

Yeah? They seem to be popular with the programmers because of just the amount of work that goes in to them must be quite appealing!

Yeah.

Alright, well thank you very much then Sam!

Thank you.

Train2Game News: Rapid2D winner interview

NicolaTwo weeks ago, the winner of the Rapid2D £10,000 competition was announced as Nicola Valcasara and this week he was interviewed by Eric Wiltsher on RTI.

Nicola is a truly inspirational young man and his story is quite incredible.

You can listen to the interview at www.rti.fm in the podcasts section

or read the transcript below:

An Interview on RTI with a student from Train2Game Who won £10,000 with Rapid2D

Train2Game News: Rapid2D £10,000 competition winner announced!

Rapid2DValca Entertainment announced as the winners of the Rapid 2D app design competition

Today lives changed for the team at development company Valca Entertainment as they were granted £10,000 as the winners of the Rapid 2D app development competition 2013. In this exciting competition entrants were tasked to develop Windows 8 apps but it was all about quality and quantity with developers entered into a draw with each game they produced. The winner was announced on www.rti.fm at 3.00pm adding kudos to this already life changing prize.

Myra Smallman, Director of Rapid 2D, said about the games engine “What we have tried to do with Rapid2D is to make it available to everyone and anyone who wants to make games. So, we have a free basic version on the Rapid2D website and very little coding knowledge is needed to be able to operate that. The novice that wants to be games designer can produce a game from the free version.”

On working in the mobile industry, Rik Alexander managing Director at AppCrowd, said “With a smaller company you can turn around apps a lot faster in the mobile market and it is a lot more enjoyable. You don’t need as many overheads and you don’t need as many people, you can be much more nimble as a team. A smaller team can communicate easier which means you make less mistakes.”

WP_20130405_007

Myra Smallman and Rik Alexander

For more information visit http://www.rapid2d.com

Train2Game News: Rapid2D winner to be announced tomorrow!

Rapid2DRapid2D £10,000 app development competition winner to be announced on www.rti.fm tomorrow Friday 4th April at 3.00pm GM

The competition to find the cream of app developers finishes tomorrow, when international radio station RTI FM will announce the winner of the Rapid2D Windows 8 development competition. The winner of the competition is set to receive life changing prizes of £10,000 to spend as they wish and the kudos of boasting they have won this world recognised competition.

In this huge competition developers were not only challenged to design great apps but also to produce quality and quantity, with each entry to the competition boosting their chances of walking away the winner. The competition which has been running for around two months and open to any studio or individual developing Windows 8 apps. Rapid2D have received over 300 entries of top calibre apps, entrants will be nervously biting their nails with the winner announced tomorrow.

Tune in to listen at www.rti.fm

Train2Game News: Rapid2D Competition

Rapid2DRapid2D Launches TEN THOUSAND POUND App Competition!

But that’s not all; there will also be runners up prizes of Xbox 360 consoles and bundles taking the total prize fund way beyond £10,000

Windows 8, has teamed up with industry sponsor Microsoft Corp. to launch an app competition with a first prize of £10,000.

Aimed at start-ups and student studios, while being open to anyone to enter, teams will be required to submit apps to the Windows  Store. The judging will be based on overall app quality submitted by a studio/team.

Myra Smallman, of Rapid2D, also announced, “To create a level playing field for those who are just starting out in the industry, Rapid2D has produced a range of templates for use with our exciting new engine, all available for free to competition entrants.”

Anand Krishnan, Senior Director, Developer and Platform Group, Microsoft UK, added, “We are proud to support and sponsor this amazing initiative. It offers opportunities for hobby builders, students and startups to bring their ideas to life. We are excited to see what the next generation of developers, designers, artists and coders can do with the Rapid2D game engine.”

The competition will launch at 15.00pm (UK) on Wednesday 23rd January 2013 via the Rapid2D web site. The first of the 10 templates will also be made available at the same time as will the latest version of the Rapid2D engine, Rapid2D V1.2.

Registration via the Rapid2D website also opens 23rd January. The closing date for the collections of apps being published is 2nd April 2013.  All Apps which are to be considered for the competition must be submitted to the Windows Store for approval by 12 midnight on 2nd April 2013.

Rapid2D competition more

It is not a prerequisite of entry to use the Rapid2D engine – entrants can develop a Windows 8 game with any language or middleware platform, whilst we recommend the Rapid 2D engine to utilize the templates and accelerate the game app development.

Individuals can enter, but obviously teams can share the demanding workload

Full terms and conditions available via www.rapid2d.com , however entry is restricted to the UK.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 12.12.12

The Train2Game blog has once again been searching the internet and has found some of the biggest news from across the week.

The Rapid2D engine has gone live as of yesterday following its demonstration at the Evolve conference in London. Rapid2D is designed to help developers create apps for PC, tablet and Windows Phone 8 through the Windows 8 Marketplace. The engine uses C++ for scripting, and includes features such as physics, visual effects, sound particle systems, collision control and animated sprites. As well as the free version of Rapid2D, there will also be extra add-ons, upgrades and a pro-version available to developers.

Randy Pitchford, one of the developers behind Borderlands 2 has confirmed that there will be a new character class coming as DLC. Mr Pitchford previously said it was unlikely because of the amount of extra work the Mechromancer class took. The news was revealed after someone tweeted the developer saying “My mate says you won’t” to which Randy replied, “yes – we’re working on another character.” It’s as simple as that.

PopCap, the team behind hit casual games such as Plants v Zombies has announced that they are now working on a AAA title. The news comes following a tweet and job posting from PopCap. The game is a console game, inspired by Team Fortress 2. The job posting confirms that the game will use the Frostbite 2 engine, which is becoming more and more popular.

The final issues of PSM3 and Xbox World have gone on sale today. One of the many features in the last PSM3 magazine is a feature written by editor Dan Dawkins talking about the making of’ PSM3, office secrets, the highs and lows, how things have changed and how the future looks. Meanwhile Xbox World rounds up the biggest, loudest, saddest, funniest, most shocking moments in Xbox history and gives GTA5, arguably the biggest Xbox game of 2013, one final, epic preview.

Rovio has announced plans to release an Angry Birds feature film in the summer of 2016 and it will be in 3D so you can feel what those bad piggies go through. Despicable Me producer John Cohen has signed on as producer for the CG-animated movie, while David Maisel, former chairman of Marvel Studios and executive producer of Iron Man, will serve as executive producer. The movie will be produced and financed by Rovio outside of the studio system, allowing the Finnish company to retain full creative control of the project. Over 100 billion Angry Birds games have been downloaded since the games début in 2009.