Train2Game News: Train2Game in 2012 – July to September

Guinness CertificateThe third quarter was probably the biggest for Train2Game, it was in September that we got in to the Guinness World Record books.

Microsoft sponsored the third Train2Game Game Jam in September and this one was the biggest game jam in the world with just under 300 participants.

It was also here that the Students got to test out Windows 8, before its release, for its game making potential. In the lead up to the Jam, students were put in to teams and worked together to learn how the operating system worked. Once at the 48 hour event they were raring to go and put what they had learned to the test.

When the event started the Students were given a theme to work from, following the great year England has had with the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee it was only natural that the theme was Pride Of London. This turned out a number of great games and the majority of them have now been released on to the Windows 8 app store for all to play.

The winner of the event was a game called Royal Rush by a team known as Retro Metro. The game saw you play as a cyclist dodging the busy London traffic and picking up coins. It is a nice, fun addictive little game based on elements of the arcade classic, Frogger.

Retro Metro won quite a hefty prize including a new phone, a few games, Microsoft points and most importantly of all, a trip to Rare studios where they will be able to present their portfolio and get valuable advice.

You can relive or experience the event for the first time in the video below:

Train2Game News: A day at Eurogamer Expo: Part 1

On Saturday I was sent to the Eurogamer Expo held at Earl’s Court in London. I am going to give a recap of my day for anyone who couldn’t be there.

My first clue that the day was going to be a good one was seeing The Mask queuing to enter. I was surrounded by hundreds of other early entry ticket holders all eager to burst through the door and get their hands on the up coming games.

As the doors opened and we all filed in. I knew exactly what I wanted to play. I walked straight to the over 18 area to finally get my first taste of Arkane Studio’s Dishonored.

The demo gave you a good taste. I got to use the possession skill, walking around in guards bodies to sneak around, before falling out and assassinating them. The blink skill is a good mechanic, similar to that of Nightcrawler from Xmen, you can teleport short distances without being detected and get to hard to reach areas. The world its self looks beautiful and the level design is so versatile. I can not wait to get my hands on this game.

Next up I had a shot at Hitman: Absolution. Everyone who played the Square-Enix game got a little Agent 47 model, who now sits proudly on my desk. The graphics are of a very high standard and the game play is typical Hitman from what I could see. Having only played Hitman:Blood Money previously, I was happy to see the ability to peak from hiding places, which was seriously lacking in earlier games. This will probably be another one I end up getting.

After seeing highly amusing stickers that were for the iOS game Carmaggedon I had to hunt down the stand. It is a remake of the game released fifteen years ago that had so much controversy surrounding it. When the game was first released the public didn’t like the fact that you had to run over people. They had to change it to zombies or face the game being banned. Now that times have changed the game is back in all its glory, the way it should have been.

I then visited the Train2Game stand to say hello. I was happy to see many students and potential students attending. Royal Rush, the winning game from the world record winning Game Jam, made by RetroMetro, was playable at the stand. Train2Game held competitions daily, who ever got the highest score on the game was awarded a prize later in the day.

At midday it was time for the Dishonored developer session. We all took our seats and were introduced to Christophe Carrier and Dinga Bakaba from Arkane Studios. They took us through the story and some of their development ideas before doing two demos for us. The first time through they demonstrated the stealth aspects of the game, using the blink mechanic and distractions to get to the end of the level. No one was killed and he was only spotted once before disappearing out of sight. The second time was much more brutal. Killing everyone he could find using different methods. The highlight of which being the moment he froze time with a bullet in mid air, possessed the guard who had fired it and walked in front of the shot before leaving his body and unfreezing time, making the guard shoot himself.

That covers my morning at Eurogamer. There was so much to do and see through out the day I am going to have to split this in to two blogs across the day. Check back later for the continuation.

 

Train2Game News: Mid-week Round up

Train2Game student Fiona Stewart has been featured in The Sun. She talks about how she moved from traditional art to digital art and how it has affected her life. The Sun also featured an article about Daniel Gent, a disabled student of Train2Game who uses a voice activated computer.

Microsoft are bringing Atari’s extensive back catalogue to tablets and browsers. The new portal is called Atari Arcade and it’s opening with eight titles: Asteroids, Combat, Centipede, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout and Yar’s Revenge. The rest of the games are set to be released over the next few months.

343 Industries and Microsoft are releasing eight different pre-order incentives for Halo 4. Depending on where you order the game from you get a different in game item. The in game items include: Different Armour sets, Avatar Items and multi-player Emblems.

Humble Bundle Six has been released. The Humble Bundles are great for picking up some of the top indie games whilst helping charity at the same time. You pay what you want for the bundle but need to pay a minimum amount to get the game Dustforce. Other games included are: Rochard, Shatter, S.P.A.Z, Torchlight and Vessel.

Sony are releasing two new thinner PlayStation 3s. These new consoles are 25% slimmer than the current models and one boasts a 500GB hard drive the other is a 12GB flash memory model but a 250GB hard drive will be available.

Sony are also launching PlayStation Mobile in October. It is a new store for games to be released for mobile devices. An SDK for the store will be released in November opening up a new market for games developers.

Nintendo has come to an agreement with Unity. Developers can use the engine to create games for the Wii U. Unity users will have to pay for a license to develop for the Wii U, just like with the other platforms.

EA will support the very first GaymerCon. The convention is for the LGBT community to come together through their love of gaming. Their website says its purpose is to educate and inform “the gaming community of the presence of sexuality in our digital lives and promoting acceptance and social change through gaming.”

Finally a big congratulations to the winning team at the weekends world record winning Game Jam. RetroMetro won with their game, Royal Rush. I hope you enjoy your prizes and I hope everyone who attended the Game Jam had an excellent time!