Train2Game News Jagex to host SpecialEffect for Gameblast

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Jagex Games Studio, creators and custodians of the fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape and the upcoming online multiplayer action game, Block N Load, is to lead the way in SpecialEffect’s upcoming GameBlast15 games marathon weekend.

The event, which takes place between 20th and 22nd February, launches a 24-hour gamer challenge to raise money and help enable individuals with physical disabilities play games.

During the inaugural GameBlast in 2014, the RuneScape and Ace of Spades: Battle Builder communities raised more than £48,000 for SpecialEffect, and more than 90,000 viewers watched Jagex’s livestream of gameplay, interviews, and real-world challenges. In addition to holding another marathon livestream from Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, RuneScape players will also benefit from a double XP weekend.

“SpecialEffect is a cause that’s very close to our hearts at Jagex. We had a lot of fun last year with our livestream for GameBlast14, so it’s fantastic to get stuck in once again and get even more involved in GameBlast15,” said Phil Mansell, vice president of RuneScape. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Mick and the SpecialEffect team to Jagex, as well as holding our own 24-hour marathon and double XP weekend, next month.”

David Solari, vice president of Block N Load, added “The Ace of Spades: Battle Builder community were really supportive during GameBlast14, so we can’t wait to see how the burgeoning Block N Load player base performs this year. We’re currently in the beta phase of development, so the 24-hour GameBlast marathon will really put the game through its paces ahead of its launch!”

“We were simply stunned by the amazing generosity of the Jagex community during last year’s GameBlast, and honoured that they’re gearing up for another 24 hours of activity in February,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and director of SpecialEffect. “Having such a major force in the gaming industry backing our work helping people with disabilities is a great boost, and I’m personally really looking forward to being at Jagex HQ during the event to be part of their GameBlast heroics.”

Hosting SpecialEffect and taking part in GameBlast15 is the first of a number of fundraising drives for planned by the Jagex throughout 2015. During 2014, the studio and its passionate RuneScape community raised more than $300,000 for good causes, including Oxfam and SpecialEffect. RuneScape was also the first games partner of United for Wildlife, and helped to raise awareness of the plight facing the world’s rhinos with a series of in-game quizzes and limited edition virtual pets.

Train2Game News: Jagex supporting SpecialEffect GameBlast

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Jagex Games Studio, makers of the multi-award winning fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape, is to host a 24-hour long marathon in support of the games charity SpecialEffect’s inaugural GameBlast weekend.

The challenge, to be held at Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, will take place from 1pm GMT on Friday 21st February and will see staff and selected members of the RuneScape community play RuneScape and Ace of Spades throughout the 24-hour period. The event will also be live-streamed throughout via the official RuneScape and Ace of Spades twitch.tv channels, which will also include interviews with the RuneScape development team.

In addition to holding the marathon, Jagex will be running in-game events within RuneScape. Following a recent player vote, there will be Double XP for players during the GameBlast weekend. The Well of Goodwill, which saw players raise tens of thousands of pounds for a number of charities at the end of 2013, will re-open for a short time only. Players will also be able to purchase a virtual GameBlast tunic for their avatars, with all proceeds donated to SpecialEffect. During the GameBlast weekend, 50 percent of all profits from sales of Ace of Spades will be donated to SpecialEffect.

“Jagex has long supported numerous charities close to our heart, and we are thrilled to be able to continue our strong relationship with SpecialEffect by taking part in the inaugural GameBlast,” said Neil McClarty, Brand Director for RuneScape. “Our community truly are fantastic, and their generosity during our most recent charity campaign saw hundreds of billions of gold pieces and Bonds converted into real-world cash for good causes, including SpecialEffect. The weekend is shaping up to be big with lots planned including live streams and players recently voted to celebrate with double XP available all weekend, this is one not miss.”

“SpecialEffect does fantastic work to level the playing field between abled and disabled gamers, and Jagex is excited to continue supporting the organisation’s efforts by participating in GameBlast,” said Rob Kinder, Brand Director for Ace of Spades. “Getting the Ace of Spades community together for a 24-hour marathon gaming session while raising money for charity at the same time is the perfect way to start the weekend, and we can’t wait for the event to kick off!”

“We’re absolutely delighted that Jagex are going to play a huge part in GameBlast. We’re already indebted to them for the wonderful support they gave us in 2013 through their Well of Goodwill, and to have their involvement in this weekend of gaming is fantastic,” said Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and Director of SpecialEffect. “There are thousands of people in the world that want to share our passion for video games, but their disabilities stop them playing any of the titles we love. The sponsorship that the Jagex players and staff raise through their marathon will help us to bring magic moments and opportunities for inclusion into many, many more lives.”

Train2Game News: Minecraft meets guns

Jagex, the team behind RuneScape, have developed a new free-to-play first person shooter that has been described as Minecraft meets Team Fortress.

Jagex, Europe’s largest independent games studio, today formally unveiled details of its previously unannounced innovative shooter, Ace of Spades. Ace of Spades is the latest title from the multi-awarding UK studio behind the leading free-to-play browser MMO RuneScape.

Ace of Spades is a retro-looking intelligent creative shooter that gives players complete strategic freedom over a battlefield they can evolve and built on throughout a game session.  Featuring up to 32 players, Ace of Spades destructible environments are only limited by the imagination of the players creating them. The game provides players with all the ‘world-building’ freedom of a voxel-based sandbox, but with the addition of competitive, team-based multiplayer FPS gunplay.

Creativity is key to succeeding in Ace of Spades as the game gives players the freedom to construct anything from simple bunkers to elaborate fortresses and tunnel networks. This adds a new and innovative component to the game giving players unrestricted freedom to plan their own battles, construct purpose-built defences, and adapt the environment in real-time, changing the course of the battle.

Jagex CMO David Solari said, “If you’re tired of the same old first person shooters, coming out year after year with a fresh lick of paint and a hefty price tag, then Ace of Spades will tick all the boxes for you, offering an all action multiplayer featuring up to 32 player FPS combat and a fully customisable environment which will continuously develop throughout your battle.

“Despite keeping this game under the radar during development, it has still proved to be hugely viral with more than two and half a million players entering the prototype phase. Ace of Spades is set to take FPS to the next level, adding evolving tactics and strategy to twitch FPS gameplay. We have blended the artistic style of voxel-based sandbox games, such as Minecraft, with the class based combat of titles like Team Fortress, and added an extra dimension with real-time evolving battlefields to create a game which we firmly believe will appeal to FPS gamers looking for a bigger challenge.”

The game, which has been developed by Jagex and a small team of talented independent developers, has been running a massively successful prototype since April last year which has been downloaded in excess of 2.5 million times and currently has 550,000 active monthly users.

The full version Ace of Spades featuring an improved graphics engine and an armoury of new weapons will be available to download from Steam in December 2012 for a small one off fee.

You can watch the trailer for the game below:

 

 

Train2Game news: Concept art is “base of all gaming production” says Jagex Art Director

Train2Game Art & Animation students who find work in the industry will see their concept art become an essential base to the whole game development process.

That can be taken from comments made by Jagex Art Director Pascal Blanche in an interview with Develop Online. Cambridge based Jagex are the studio behind browser based MMO RuneScape.

“I saw the role of concept art growing up during all those years, and becoming the base of all gaming production. It has become essential for game design, art design and production design as well.” he replied about the evolution of concept art’s role in game development.

Blanche also said the role of a game artist has evolved.

“Most concept artists now are used to creating speed-paintings and thumbnails to get a rough idea pretty fast.” he said.

“The needs of the production to an extent created the hybrid artists they’ve now become. Some concept artists are even good at storyboarding or illustrations, using other tools to create better and faster results such as Sketchup and Zbrush.” Blanche added.

The full interview with the Jagex Art Director is here on Develop Online, and it makes an interesting read for Train2Game Artist & Animators. It’s also accompanied by some fantastic concept art.

Click here for more information about the Train2Game Art & Animation course.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Blanche’s comments? Is concept art the base game development?

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

[Source: Develop]