Train2Game News HELP Real War is Not a Game

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Games are officially the new rock and roll as, two decades on from the iconic HELP album, game developers from across the globe are to pool their talents to create HELP: Real War is Not a Game, a unique compilation to raise funds for War Child
 
It was 20 years ago today… that Oasis, Blur, The Stone Roses, Paul Weller, Paul McCartney and many more got together to create HELP, the first in a series of award-winning albums, which raised more than £1.5m to fund War Child’s activities to protect children in the war-torn Balkans.

Now, two decades on, a star-studded line-up of game developers have announced their intention to follow in those musicians’ footsteps by uniting in a unique ‘studio game jam’ designed to help fund War Child’s ongoing activities in conflict-affected countries.

A traditional game jam is a gathering of game developers for the planning, design and creation of one or more games within a fixed time span. Game jams usually take place in a single location and last for a fixed period… normally between 24 and 72 hours. The HELP game jam will largely stick to those principles, but instead of having a fixed home it will take place in a variety of locations across the world and the teams involved will be allowed a total of six days to bring their creation from concept to completion, based on a brief provided by War Child.

The result of all of this international collaboration will be brought together as HELP: Real War is Not a Game, a compilation of games which will be made available to the general public to buy as a digital download early next year.
 
Studios which have already committed to participating include 343 Industries, A Brave Plan, Bossa Studios, Carbon Games, Creative Assembly, Curve Digital, Hardlight, Hinterland, Spilt Milk Studios, Sports Interactive, Team 17 and Torn Banner (who, between them, have sold well in excess of 100m games), with more announcements expected in the coming weeks. Major technology providers including Unreal, Gamemaker and Unity are also backing the project by providing their tools to the teams on a ‘no cost and royalty free’ basis.
 
“War Child’s work is amazing. It revolves around a simple premise… no child has started a war, so no child should be affected by one,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive and founder of the global games jam committee. “Whether it’s rehabilitating ex child soldiers in Democratic Republic of Congo, creating child helplines in Afghanistan, providing safe spaces for Syrian refugee children, or the work in so many other countries – wherever they are they make the world a better place for children forced to live with war. For so many studios to have got involved in this project at such an early stage is really humbling. I hope many more join the cause and get involved in something that will be fun, rewarding and make a huge difference in children’s lives across the world.”
 
“We’re incredibly excited about the launch of HELP: Real War is Not a Game. It’s been amazing to be part of this initiative which is set to raise vital funds for children whose lives have been torn apart by war,” says Rob Williams, Chief Executive Officer of War Child UK. “In the 20 years since the music industry came together to create the HELP album, we’ve seen new records for the numbers of children affected by conflict. Today, the gaming industry is changing the game, with exactly the kind of creative and collective response required to help War Child change more lives.”

The War Child games committee is Alex Chapman (Sheridans), Ciarán Brennan (Sports Interactive), Elisabeth Little (War Child), Imre Jelle (Bossa), John Clark (SEGA), Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive), Rupert Loman (Gamer Network) and Stuart Saw (Twitch).

HELP: Real War is Not a Game will be released through Steam and other digital download platforms in late March 2016. For further information, keep an eye on http://www.warchild.org.uk/helpgame and War Child’s UK’s twitter, or email helpgame@warchild.org.uk .

War Child’s HELP campaign is seeking large-scale public support in the form of an online petition. For more information on the HELP campaign go to www.warchild.org.uk/help .

Train2Game News: 9 tips for getting a games industry job

Miles JacobsonSports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson offers advice in this blog on getting a foot in the game industry.

Here at SI the whole area of job applications is something which is very much at the front of our minds at the moment as we’ve just publicised roughly 20 new positions and we’ve been dealing with what can only be described as a torrent of applications ever since.

Here are some learnings we’ve had from this process.

1. Make sure you have both a covering letter and CV – or at least put some text into your email about why you want the role. I was very surprised how many people just sent a CV with a blank email. Which brings me nicely onto…

2. Stand out from the crowd

Getting a job in any business is difficult. Getting a job in a business that’s perceived to be as exciting and (dare I say it) glamorous as games is very difficult indeed. Before you can even think about getting a job, though, you have to get your face in front of the people who are doing the hiring, and to do this you’ll have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

In our most recent round of recruitment we had more than 500 applications for what were two relatively junior positions. These came from a massive variety of candidates, but one thing they had in common was that most kicked off by saying how much they loved our game/company and how it was their life’s ambition to work for us. That’s very nice to hear, of course, but you have to understand that if you’re saying it then everyone else is probably saying it too.

There’s simply no way that any employer can take the time to meet everyone that applies for a position, so try to find something that makes your application stand out from the crowd. This won’t get you the job, but it may just get you an interview.

3. Pay attention

All employers have their own methods for hiring new staff, but most will kick off the process in a similar fashion – by sifting through the initial applications in an attempt to reduce the list of candidates under consideration to a manageable number.

In other words, most employers will start off by looking for an excuse to remove as many candidates as they can from the ‘possible’ pile. One easy way to do this is to remove any candidates who didn’t read the job ad properly. So read it once, then read it again and make sure that you deliver everything that’s asked for – and that it’s appropriate for your current skill levels. A DBA is not someone who enters details about footballers into a database, for example.

4. And pay attention to detail

Another ‘easy win’ for employers looking to reduce their workload is a sloppily-presented CV. If your CV is riddled with spelling errors, missing vital information or just badly presented then you’ll be unlikely to make it past stage one.

On its own your CV is unlikely to get you a job… but it could very easily lose you one.

5. Don’t say it… show it

Modern technology offers job seekers so many ways to showcase their abilities that a well-written and well presented CV on its own may not be enough. If you’re really keen on getting into a creative industry, then take some of the opportunities that are open to you to demonstrate your creativity.

For programming positions, let us know where we can see a demo of some of your work – or detail of the kind of work you’ve been doing. Artists or animators need a link to a portfolio. QA roles should point out some issues with our last title, and potential solutions. We don’t have designer roles at the studio, but would expect the same as the QA roles would be a good way to get someone to take notice.

On the comms side of things (which more and more developers have in-house nowadays), write a blog, set up a YouTube channel or even just maintain an active Twitter account. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something to show that you not only have ideas, but that you also have the initiative to express them

6. Do your research

The internet is a bonus to any employer as it allows them to do a little background research on any prospective candidate before they even meet. That, however, works both ways. If you do manage to make it past stage one and find yourself invited in for interview, make sure that you know every piece of publicly-available information on your prospective employer. If you don’t, one of your competitors will.

Also make sure that you’ve cleared your social networks of any idiocy. Or, even better, don’t be an idiot in the first place. Some of the applicants for our current open roles are people who have been banned from our forums or social networking platforms (which aren’t easy to get banned from) and when we’re looking for people to not interview, those come very high in that pile.

7. Be prepared

If applying for a programming position, it’s likely that you are going to have a programming test at some point. If the studio is advertising C++ positions, and you’ve been using C# for the last couple of years, brush up on your C++.

And always answer the way that you think is the right way to do it, not necessarily what you learnt at school/university. Often with the programming tests there is more than one answer, and they are more tests to find out how you approach issues.

8. Be yourself

When you do eventually find yourself face-to-face with a prospective employer, don’t try to be the person that you think they’re looking for… just be yourself. After all, it was you who impressed them enough to get you to the interviewee’s chair, so why be someone different now?

9. And finally….

Apply for roles at studios whose work you admire and want to be part of. Passion for what you’ll be working on (even if it’s the tech, and not the games) is very important – if you don’t have passion for the work, you may as well get a job doing programming outside of the game industry as you’ll likely make more money that way…

That’s probably enough to start with. Best of luck with your job hunt.

Source: Develop – written by Miles Jacobson

Train2Game News: Games Industry Jobs – 11.12.12

Train2Game has searched around to find you some of the entry level jobs in Art, Design, Development and QA.

ART

Job Title Junior Artist
Job Category Art / Animation
Skills Required Graduate Artist
Location Old Street, London, UK & Europe
Job Description Sports Interactive (SI) is the world’s leading developer of football management simulations through its Football Manager series of games, in its twentieth anniversary year. With one of the lowest staff turnover rates in the industry, and regular appearances at the top of the PC, PSP and App Store charts around Europe, this is a chance to join a winning team.

Position Overview
We are looking for an artist to join our graphics team in a junior role, helping with the creation and implementation of assets and graphical content in our games.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Dealing with licensing and asset creation for the game
  • Creating graphical content for the game
  • Assisting in the development of content across numerous platforms.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE  

  • Proficient with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • Experience creating graphical content for games (either professionally or within a gaming community)
  • Portfolio required

DESIRABLE

  • Basic knowledge of HTML and/or XML
  • Web design experience
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Interest in football.

You can apply HERE.

DEVELOPER

Job Title Games Programmer – iOS / Android
Job Category Programming
Skills Required AI / Artificial Intelligence, Tools, Gameplay, Mobile / iOS / Android, Graphics / Engine, Core Technology, UI / Front End, Graduate Programmer
Location Brighton
Job Description Boss Alien are a growing company working on exciting projects with small team sizes. We need programmers who are happy to work in whatever area is required of them – this could change on a daily basis!

We are looking for smart, energetic, friendly people to join us!

Required:

  • 2.1 degree in Maths, Physics, Computer Science or related, or equivalent industry experience
  • Excellent knowledge of C# or C++
  • Excellent knowledge of algorithms and data structures
  • Experience of creating games on desktop or mobile platforms
  • Desire to make great games
  • Great communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Happy to work as part of a team
  • Demonstrable love for some area of game technology
  • A passion for playing games and solving problems
  • Flexible and keen to learn new skills

Great to have:

  • Knowledge of two or more other programming languages (for example Java, Python, PHP, Clojure)
  • 1 or more years of games industry experience
  • 1 or more shipped titles on console, desktop or mobile platforms
  • Strong knowledge of console, desktop and mobile architectures
  • Knowledge of asynchronous engineering techniques
  • Experience of Unity, Unreal or XNA
  • SQL
  • Experience using digital content creation tools (for example Max, Maya, Photoshop)

    Find out more about us at www.bossalien.com

    Junior / Graduate Programmers with relevant demos and a positive attitude are encouraged to apply!

DESIGN

Job Title MMO Game Designer – Celtic Heroes – Groundbreaking MMORPG !
Job Category Game Design
Skills Required Games Designer, Level Designer, Graduate Game Designer
Location Glasgow
Job Description The team behind ‘Celtic Heroes’ are looking for a creative MMO Game Designer to join their team.

As MMO Game Designer you will have the responsibility of designing and evolving the very experiences our players engage in. You must have massive passion in the MMORPG genre and fully understand the successful game mechanics and quest design that equally challenges and rewards the player.

You must be a creative thinker with the ability to rationalise your ideas into practical game play experiences. You must be a strong communicator at ease working within a development team. A strong portfolio of game design examples in the same genre of ‘Celtic Heroes’ is a MUST!

If you have the skills, qualifications, experience and a passion for playing our kind of games, we would love to hear from you. To APPLY direct online simply follow this link http://bit.ly/joinourclan

Set in an exciting medieval Celtic world of combat, magic and mythology, ‘Celtic Heroes’ is a fully 3D MMORPG available for iPhone, iPod and iPad. Play as a customisable warrior, mage, rogue, ranger or druid. Gain powerful new weapons, armour and items as you explore the vast world of castles, dungeons and outdoor environments. Battle fearsome enemies and complete heroic quests!

NOTE: Must be able to demonstrate eligibility and VALID WORKING VISA to work in the United Kingdom and be willing to relocate / commute to the Glasgow area

QA

Job Title Games Tester
Job Category QA / Localisation
Skills Required QA Tester
Location UK & Europe
Job Description Position Overview:

The Games Tester position is a responsible job; reporting bugs and providing quality feedback for our titles in development. These fixed term contracts are for our established Total Warteam, testing our project currently in development.

  • Test games in development for  software bugs
  • Enter bugs clearly and accurately into our bug database
  • Verify and recreate bugs as required
  • Report additional balancing, design and accessibility problems
  • Specific support and general roles available

Essential

  • A clear understanding of QA process
  • A keen enthusiasm for gaming
  • Good communication and  reporting skills
  • Driven and flexible approach

Desirable

  • A clear understanding of QA process
  • A keen enthusiasm for gaming
  • Good communication and  reporting skills
  • Driven and flexible approach
  • Experience of testing one full shipped title
  • A good  understanding of Strategy games (Total War)
  • Games industry related degree (e.g. audio, art, design, etc.) or expertise in a specific  game area is an asset (e.g. audio, technical, PC hardware, design or scripting etc.)
  • Fluent in one or more of the following languages: French, German, Italian or Spanish
  • Strong technical knowledge/skills (e.g. programming, scripting)

You will need to be available to start by December 2012.
PLEASE ENSURE A COVERING LETTER IS INCLUDED WITH YOUR CV APPLICATION

 

You can apply HERE.

Potential QA Testing opportunities for Train2Game students

Sports Interactive produce the Football Manager series

Here’s something for anyone studying with Train2Game, particularly those on the Game QA Tester course.

Football Manager developers Sports Interactive are looking for people to join their QA Testing department on a temporary basis to test Football Manager & Football Manager Handheld across PC, Mac, Sony PSP & Apple devices.

As the advert itself says, it’s the ultimate job for “someone looking to gain some experience in the games industry.”

The job specification as listed in the advert is as follows:

* You must be at least 16 years old to be considered for the role.
* You must be able to commute to our Central London office in the UK.
* You must be able to work Monday to Friday based on a 37.5 hour working week.
* You should expect to work some overtime when requested.
* You should be a dedicated gamer with a passion for Football Manager.
* You should be a keen football fan.
* You should be comfortable using a PC, Mac, Sony PSP or Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod.
* You should have great attention to detail with the ability to spot issues.
* You should have a good standard of written English.
* Previous experience in QA is welcomed, but not necessary.

For more information about the Game QA Tester roles at Sports Interactive, see the relevant thread on their forum.

And while this could provide a great opportunity for Train2Game students, it’s worth pointing about that the Sports Interactive QA Testing roles are in no way affiliated with Train2Game. However, they could potentially provide someone on a Train2Game course with hands on games industry experience.

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Football Manager 2011 Revealed!

Football Manager 2011Sports Interactive have announced that Football Manager 2011 will be released before Christmas this year.

Football Manager 2011 will feature more new features than ever before, including real-time contract negotiation, a revamped training system, match engine improvements and a ‘dynamic league reputation’ system.

For the first time ever, Football Manager 2011 players will be able to negotiate contracts with players in real time. Sports Interactive have been working real-life football agents, to gain an  insight as to how these negotiations can be made as realistic as possible in Football Manager 2011. Different agents will have different personalities, and therefore players will need to work differently with each one to succeed with Football Manager 2011.

The training system has also been revamped for Football Manager 2011 with athere is a new “match preparation” area of training so that managers can give their team specific areas to focus on in the lead up to a match. There are also more basic training schedules for players, and 14 different individual skill areas that you can focus your players on.  So no more having to spend hours tweaking schedules in Football Manager 2011 eh? Sports Interactive Studio Director Miles Jacobson says the training system hasn’t been changed before, because they couldn’t think of a way to improve it!

“At Sports Interactive, we always strive to give the end-user the best experience possible, the training system for example has always been the best we thought it could be, until now. We’ve found a way to make it even better!”

Interaction with players, staff and the board have also been improved for Football Manager 2011.

The 3D Match Engine of Football Manager 2011 has also been tweaked, with over 100 new animations added, as well as more player emotions, new player models, new stadiums, pitch textures, improved lighting, floodlit night matches, more goal celebrations and lots of other extras which improve the latest episode in the successful Football Manager series.

The other new features in Football Manager 2011 announced by Sports Interactive include a revamped media module, which will keep the managers better up to date with events going on in their football world.

The much requested dynamic league reputation will provide Football Manager 2011 with an even more realistic model of the footballing world.

Anyhow, enough with the text, for more information about the new Features in Football Manager 2011, Miles Jacobson explains them in the video below (While also showing off his collection of t-shirts)

So Train2Game, are you a Football Manager fan? Will you be rushing out to test your skills with Football Manager 2011? And does anyone have any horrific tales of addiction? (Like I was when I was at university!)

You can leave your thoughts on Football Manager 2011 here or on the Train2Game forum.