Train2Game News Sony at E3

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOAt its annual E3 press conference today, Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC (SIEA) debuted a line-up of premier content for PlayStation®4 (PS4™), including Days Gone (SIE Bend Studio), Spider-Man (Insomniac Games), LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™ (TT Games and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment), God of War (SIE Santa Monica Studio), DEATH STRANDING (Kojima Productions), FINAL FANTASY® XV (Square Enix), RESIDENT EVIL® 7 biohazard (Capcom Co.), and many more.

SIEA also announced the North American launch date of October for PlayStation®VR (PS VR), a virtual reality system that takes PS4 to the next level of immersion. Along with the launch date announcement, SIEA unveiled a breadth of unique PS VR experiences, including Farpoint (Impulse Gear), Star Wars™ Battlefront™: X-Wing VR Mission (Electronic Arts), and Batman™: Arkham VR (RockSteady and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment).

“PlayStation’s heritage has been built around innovation and ground-breaking gaming experiences, and today’s reveals of new PS4 and PS VR content speaks to our continued commitment to this evolution of gaming,” said Shawn Layden, President of SIEA and Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios. “From the reimagining of God of War to the brand new world of Days Gone, this E3 marks one of the best content line-ups in PlayStation history. With the launch of PS VR on the horizon, innovation also has never been stronger at PlayStation, as developers, from smaller independent teams to larger studios, have been able to quickly leverage the technology and create unique experiences that truly embody VR’s potential.”

PlayStation®4
PS4 continues to remain the fastest-selling console in PlayStation ® history with more than 40 million units sold worldwide, and new game announcements revealed on stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles demonstrated how PS4’s library will further expand with an unparalleled line-up of games. SIE’s Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS) unveiled three new ambitious games during the show – God of War, Spider-Man and Days Gone. Developed by Santa Monica Studio, God of War opened the show with a reveal showcasing a refreshed gameplay experience that continues the next chapter for iconic character, Kratos.
As part of the reveal, renowned musical artist Bear McCreary, composer for God of War, shared his score for the game while conducting an incredible live orchestra.

The debut of Spider-Man for PS4 introduced players for the first time to an authentic new Spider-Man story and universe being developed through a close collaboration between Insomniac Games, Marvel and San Mateo Studio. Additionally, Days Gone marks the long-awaited return of Bend Studio, who debuted a trailer highlighting a story about loss and regret set in a stunningly realistic high-desert of the Pacific Northwest, and closed the press conference with a live demonstration of emergent, open-world gameplay.

Other featured titles from SIE WWS included highly-anticipated titles Horizon Zero Dawn, Detroit : Become Human, and The Last Guardian. SIEA also announced that The Last Guardian will launch on October 25, 2016. Also, in partnership with SIE, celebrated game creator Hideo Kojima took to the stage to announce his new PS4 exclusive title, DEATH STRANDING. DEATH STRANDING will be produced, written, directed and designed by Hideo Kojima himself, and will star actor Norman Reedus.

In addition to the wealth of content coming from SIE’s WWS, partnerships with the industry’s leading developers and publishers will further solidify PS4 as the best place to play for gamers. At the press conference, SIEA announced it has worked with Activision to bring back one of PlayStation’s fan favorite characters, Crash Bandicoot. Coming to PS4 first this October, Crash appears in Skylanders® Imaginators, the latest game from one of the most beloved franchises. Additionally, in 2017, fans can play Crash 1, Crash 2, and Crash Warped, fully remastered for PS4 by Activision and Vicarious Visions. SIE will also continue its partnership with Activision on Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare, ensuring once again that PlayStation is home to one of the world’s biggest franchises. PlayStation 4 gamers will be the first to play all downloadable map packs from Infinite Warfare, and those who pre-purchase select editions of the game for PS4 will be the first to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered’s campaign 30 days prior to launch on November 4.

Additional featured partner titles shown during the conference include LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard, and FINAL FANTASY XV. PS4 owners will be the first to play the demo for the highly-anticipated LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the demo for RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard will be made available first to PlayStation®Plus members. Additionally, it was announced that RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard will be fully compatible with PS VR.

PlayStation®VR
When PS VR launches on October 13, 2016 in North America, it brings with it the opportunity for virtual reality to reach the mainstream, as all 40 million PS4s in gamers’ homes are PS VR-capable. From some of the biggest franchises in gaming to brand new titles created exclusively for PS VR, a wide breadth of unique experiences will await gamers when PS VR launches. During the conference, SIEA unveiled new PS VR experiences, including Farpoint, Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission, and Batman: Arkham VR. From developer Impulse Gear and SIE’s San Mateo Studio comes Farpoint, an unnerving VR space adventure that will set a new standard for immersive VR.

Batman: Arkham VR is from the critically-acclaimed Rocksteady Studios and is the first virtual reality Batman experience that will allow fans to experience Gotham City through the eyes of the World’s Greatest Detective in an all new Arkham mystery.

Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission will immerse players in one of the most dreamt about Star Wars™ fantasies – piloting an X-wing in the far reaches of space. This all-new mission will be exclusive to PS VR this holiday, and is free*** for owners of Star Wars Battlefront.

PlayStation VR titles will range from $9.99 to $59.99. Additionally, PlayStation Move controllers will be available as a two-pack bundle for $99.99 (MSRP).

Pre-purchase Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Digital Deluxe, Digital Legacy, Legacy, or Legacy Pro editions on PS4, and get access to the Modern Warfare Remastered campaign on 10-05-2016 on PS4. Offer available on PSN and at participating retailers only.

Train2game News LEGO Force Awakens Gameplay Trailer

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released the FIRST official Gameplay Trailer for LEGO® Star Wars: The Force Awakens™, showcasing the exciting new content that will be coming to a galaxy… not so far, far away on June 28, 2016.

For the first time, fans can get a glimpse of the brand new features available in this epic adventure, including:

·         Blaster Battles – Players can now engage in intense Blaster Battles, seeking cover behind nearby objects, which is a first for a LEGO game. Characters can then pop out from the safety of cover to fight enemies with blaster fire.

·         Multi-Builds – The enhanced Multi-Builds system allows players to choose from multiple building options to solve a puzzle and advance the game in different ways. For the first time, t he same pile of LEGO bricks can be used in multiple ways, with the player building and re-building different objects for different purposes.

·         Flight Gameplay – Experience the thrill of high-speed, action-packed flight gameplay like never before, piloting iconic vehicles (including the legendary Millennium Falcon) through arena-based battles and dogfights in space.

To view the gameplay trailer for LEGO  Star Wars: The Force Awakens, please visit the WB Games UK Youtube channel at https://youtu.be/Fsa8HkZiVwg.

LEGO Star Wars : The Force Awakens marks the triumphant return of the No. 1 LEGO videogame franchise and immerses fans in the new Star Wars adventure like never before. Players can relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in a way that only LEGO can offer, featuring all of the storylines from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, retold through the clever and witty LEGO lens. The game will also feature exclusive playable content that takes fans and newcomers on adventures set in the time leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, providing additional insight about the new movie and its characters.

The game will be released on June 28, 2016 for PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U™, Nintendo 3DS™ and Steam (PC).

Train2Game News LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm today announced LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™, marking the triumphant return of the No. 1 LEGO videogame franchise, allowing players to relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in a fun-filled, humorous way that only a LEGO game can offer.

Launching on June 28, 2016, the game will introduce brand new gameplay mechanics to build, battle and fly through the galaxy like never before, as well as new story content exploring the time between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, providing additional insight about the new movie and its characters.

To view the announcement trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, please visit the WB Games UK Youtube channel at https://youtu.be/pLwc6TfIKmc.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will be available for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, Xbox One, Xbox 360, the Wii U™ system from Nintendo, the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems and Windows PC.

“We’re extremely proud of the LEGO Star Wars videogames, truly an incredible franchise that has sold more than 33 million copies and helped ignite a passion for numerous fun-filled LEGO games enjoyed by countless gamers around the world,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be pushing the series forward with innovative new gameplay mechanics, while also exploring new parts of the universe that are sure to excite and delight both LEGO and  Star Wars fans, as well as newcomers to our games.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the LEGO Star Wars videogame franchise, which kicked off such a beloved series of LEGO titles more than a decade ago,” said Ada Duan, Vice President, Digital Business & Franchise Management, Lucasfilm. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens allows players to experience the new film in a unique way that only TT Games can provide, combining signature humor with epic Star Wars action. With exclusive story content exploring new details about the movie and its characters, it’s a perfect fit for fans young and old.”

“We are delighted to return to the Star Wars Universe and continue the journey with the franchise that started it all for LEGO videogames.” said Niels Jørgensen, Vice President, Digital Games for the LEGO Group. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will offer an amazing gaming experience covering not only the movie but also exclusive content with all the fun and humor you would expect from a LEGO game, while delivering the epic Star Wars adventure fans expect”

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes players deeper into the new film than any other game with all of the heroic characters from the movie, including Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and BB-8, as well as Kylo Ren, General Hux and Captain Phasma, while also exploring iconic Star Wars locales, such as Jakku and Starkiller Base.

This action-packed adventure introduces new gameplay features, including the enhanced “Multi-Builds” system, where players can choose from multiple building options to advance the game. Gamers will be able to engage in intense new Blaster Battles for the first time, utilizing surrounding environments to drive back the First Order. Fans can also experience the thrill of high-speed flight gameplay through arena-based battles and dogfights in space, while utilizing a multitude of vehicles along the way, including the legendary Millennium Falcon.

Train2Game News Student creates Tie Fighter

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Train2Game student 3D models what could be the next Star Wars Tie Fighter

Michael Bird working with US creative Michael Stribling to realise concepts of Star Wars spacecraft

Freelancer and Train2Game graduate Michael Bird is working with US based Creative to create incredible Star Wars 3D spacecraft.  The latest project created is a 3D Tie-Fighter based on the US Designer’s concept of what could be the next Tie Interceptor.

Michael found the original design’s creator on LinkedIn, before contacting him to get permission to develop his concept. Michael added in detail and has made the design game ready.

Michael is a Train2Game graduate who had a positive experience on the course; he’s worked with student studio Derp Studios and is now doing some freelance work.

Michael Bird, Freelance Animator and Designer:  ‘The project that I have just finished was a realised version on the Tie-Fighter from Star Wars films. That honour of the original concept goes to a man called Michael Stribling from the San Francisco Bay Area. I happened upon his concept art on LinkedIn and asked if could maybe build it in 3D and I was lucky enough to get a yes.’

‘I loved the concept and I saw it as a challenge to see if I could build it following someone else’s concept work but using my ideas as to the amount of detail, poly counts and texturing that would make it look like the concept but also to make it efficient for a game engine.’
‘I wouldn’t say spacecraft are a speciality even though I have two in my portfolio, I really want to specialise in asset/prop and environment work but it does show that I can do hard surface work. In truth if someone asks me to build something or if I ask if I can build it then I’ll try it no matter what it is. Every piece is a challenge that I relish.’

‘I am a big Star Wars fan. Always have been and always will be I grew up with Star Wars I think I saw the first film when I was about 9 or 10 and they have been a part of my life ever since to the point that know it word for word.’

‘In regards to the new film, I’m in two minds with it to tell you the truth I think I need to watch it again. It looks beautiful the way they have gone back to the old way of creating the beings that populate the Star Wars world instead of all CGI gives it a more realistic look. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this story goes.’

‘I think the reason Star Wars is so inspiring could be because the underlining story is about good vs evil, Black vs white, that’s something everyone can connect to in their life. Just the thought of having the Force powers or flying the ships it something that I would say everyone would want to do and have in their lifetime at least once.’

‘On the whole I would say the Train2Game experience has been positive, without the guidance that they offer I would never have been able to complete the course the way I did. There were time when I just couldn’t get my head around the lessons but they are always positive with their help they don’t tell you the answers they lead you onto the right path until you figure it out yourself. I would recommend the courses to anyone who is interested in getting into the industry.’

‘I finished the Art & Animation course in 2014, since then I work for a while at Derp Studios a micro online studio that helped me better my skills doing all sorts of 3D art for them, character creation and animation asset/prop creation as well as environment work. I left last year and since then I have been working for myself creating personal work and a bit of freelance when asked.’

‘I always have other ideas that I want to work on. I see my next project as an old graveyard with a small church with mist creeping between the headstone and trees all light in moonlight. I am at the concept stage at the moment but as I create I post WIP screen shot onto my website.’

‘Because the design was for my own personal pleasure it will go onto my website for the world to see www.michaelbird74.com
 
For more information contact mark@train2game.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com and www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 04.01.16

cod_blackops3For the first chart of the year things are as similar as ever with Call of Duty Black Ops 3 in the number one spot and Star Wars Battlefront in second. No new games in the charts but Destiny has snuck back in to the top 20 after Christmas.

All formats
Week ending 2 January 2016
POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III ACTIVISION 1
2 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT EA GAMES 2
3 FALLOUT 4 BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 4
4 FIFA 16 EA SPORTS 3
5 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 5
6 TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW 6: SIEGE UBISOFT 9
7 ASSASSIN’S CREED: SYNDICATE UBISOFT 7
8 JUST CAUSE 3 SQUARE ENIX 6
9 WWE 2K16 2K 10
10 FORZA MOTORSPORT 6 MICROSOFT 12
11 HALO 5: GUARDIANS MICROSOFT 13
12 MINECRAFT: STORY MODE TELLTALE GAMES 8
13 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 18
14 LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
15 RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX 15
16 UNCHARTED: THE NATHAN DRAKE COLLECTION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 11
17 DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 DISNEY INFINITY 20
18 NEED FOR SPEED EA GAMES 17
19 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 19
20 DESTINY: THE TAKEN KING ACTIVISION
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2016 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 14.12.15

cod_blackops3Next weeks Christmas number one is a threehorse race between the usual suspects; This weeks number one Call of Duty Black Ops 3, FIFA 16 and this years big new comer, Star Wars Battlefront. There are no new games in the charts this week.

All formats
Week ending 12 December 2015
POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III ACTIVISION 2
2 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT EA GAMES 3
3 FIFA 16 EA SPORTS 1
4 FALLOUT 4 BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 5
5 MINECRAFT: STORY MODE TELLTALE GAMES 7
6 JUST CAUSE 3 SQUARE ENIX 4
7 ASSASSIN’S CREED: SYNDICATE UBISOFT 12
8 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 8
9 TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW 6: SIEGE UBISOFT 6
10 WWE 2K16 2K 10
11 UNCHARTED: THE NATHAN DRAKE COLLECTION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9
12 LEGO DIMENSIONS LEGO DIMENSIONS 13
13 JUST DANCE 2016 UBISOFT 19
14 HALO 5: GUARDIANS MICROSOFT 11
15 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 17
16 RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX 14
17 LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 18
18 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2016 SEGA 15
19 FORZA MOTORSPORT 6 MICROSOFT 16
20 NEED FOR SPEED EA GAMES 20
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2015 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 03.12.15

FIFA-16No new games this week but in the lead up to Christmas FIFA 16 has retaken the number one spot from Star Wars Battlefront.

All formats
Week ending 28 November 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 16 EA SPORTS 4
2 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III ACTIVISION 2
3 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT EA GAMES 1
4 FALLOUT 4 BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 3
5 UNCHARTED: THE NATHAN DRAKE COLLECTION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 12
6 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 12
7 MINECRAFT: STORY MODE TELLTALE GAMES 8
8 HALO 5: GUARDIANS MICROSOFT 11
9 RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX 5
10 FORZA MOTORSPORT 6 MICROSOFT 20
11 ASSASSIN’S CREED: SYNDICATE UBISOFT 7
12 DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 DISNEY INFINITY 19
13 LEGO DIMENSIONS LEGO DIMENSIONS 6
14 WWE 2K16 2K 9
15 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
16 SKYLANDERS SUPERCHARGERS SKYLANDERS 16
17 LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
18 JUST DANCE 2016 UBISOFT
19 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 13
20 GUITAR HERO LIVE ACTIVISION 17
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2015 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News GAME midnight opening for Battlefront

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Tonight, GAME will be opening over 300 stores at midnight to play host to the UK’s would-be Jedi’s and Rebels wanting to get their hands on the hotly anticipated Star Wars Battlefront.

Fans across the UK will be able to immerse themselves in the world of Star Wars with a nationwide Cosplay competition, only at GAME. So whether you are a Droid or Jedi, a Wookie or Ewok, the gamer with the best costume at each store will be in with the chance to get their hands on some epic prizes including a Limited Edition Star Wars Battlefront PlayStation 4 1TB console, 20 official Sony Star Wars controllers and much more.

What’s more, stores across the country will be getting ready for an evening of inter-galactic entertainment with screenings of the films in Hull and special guest visits from stars of the Preston Comic Con at the Preston store. Fans are encouraged to keep an eye on their local store’s Twitter feed for more info.

Fred Prego, Insight & Marketing Director at GAME said: “At GAME we pride ourselves on offering our customers the very best experience for new releases.

“As a franchise, Star Wars opens up a fantastic world of opportunities for Cosplay, so from Aberdeen to Plymouth, we expect Rebels and Jedi’s to be lining the streets in preparation for this exciting launch night. Get your Lightsabres at the ready as this is bound to be an epic night!”

To find out what’s happening in a store near you, visit instore.game.co.uk, or join the conversation at @GAMEdigital.

Train2Game News Coding with Star Wars

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Code.org unveiled a Star Wars-themed computer science tutorial featuring Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 as well as Rey and BB-8 from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The online lesson kicks off the third-annual global  Hour of Code campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, 2015.

Thanks to Disney and Star Wars, students will learn to write code that allows them to create fun challenges and games using Star Wars characters. Participants will join forces with Rey to guide BB-8 through a space mission, then team up with Princess Leia to build their own game featuring R2-D2 or C-3PO. Students will also be able to play their completed games on smartphones and share them with friends and family through a unique link.

“For generations, Star Wars has sparked kids’ curiosity and imagination, and we hope the appeal of characters like Princess Leia and Rey will help fuel greater participation in science and math, especially among girls, around the world,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President, Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. “Computer science has helped shape our legacy and changed the way movies are made, which is why programs like the Hour of Code are so important to us.”

This is the second year Disney has worked with Code.org on a coding tutorial featuring Disney characters. Last year’s tutorial — which President Obama participated in at the White House for the Hour of Code last December — has been completed more than 13 million times and tapped Anna and Elsa from Walt Disney Animation Studio’s blockbuster film “Frozen.” More than 100 million students across 180 countries have tried an Hour of Code tutorial, including one in three students in US schools, according to Code.org estimates.

Code.org’s new “Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” lesson for the Hour of Code 2015 aims to nurture creativity and teach logic and problem solving through basic computer programming. There are two versions of the introductory tutorial: one introduces users to the coding language JavaScript for the first time in a Code.org lesson, and lets them create a game in their Internet browser using Code.org’s unique blocks-to-text programming environment.

For beginner and younger students, a tablet-friendly drag-and-drop version will be available in the next few weeks. The tutorial will also be translated into more than 40 languages. The tutorial is supported by Star Wars: Force for Change, a philanthropic initiative that harnesses the strength of Star Wars and its global fandom to empower people to come together to make a positive impact on the world around them.

In addition to the lesson, role models and technologists, including Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Rachel Rose, a Senior R&D engineer working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Charita Carter, Senior Creative Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, have provided short video lectures to help students through the one-hour activity.

“Millions of us have been transported to a galaxy far, far away thanks to the creativity of the team behind Star Wars. Every one of us, especially young boys and girls, should also have the chance to learn how to power our own creativity with computer science,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org. “Code.org is honored to have the support of Disney and Star Wars on the Hour of Code, making it possible for students everywhere to experience firsthand how this foundational field opens new doors and can be a lot of fun, too.”

“Disney is driven by storytelling and technology—and we know that kids introduced to computer science today will become the innovators and storytellers of tomorrow,” said Jimmy Pitaro, co-Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “We are honored to be working with Code.org again this year to introduce millions of students to coding, which is becoming one of the most important languages of their generation.”

In addition to partnering with Code.org to make the “Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” tutorial available for free in more than 180 countries, The Walt Disney Company is donating $100,000 to support Code.org’s efforts to bring computer science education to after-school programs throughout the United States. One lucky classroom will win the grand prize – a trip to San Francisco, Calif. for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes “Making of Star Wars” experience with the visual effects team who worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The grand prize is courtesy of  ILMxLAB, a new laboratory for immersive entertainment, combining the talents of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Sphero, a company that participated in the 2014 Disney Accelerator, will also be gifting programmable  BB-8 TM droids to 100 participating classrooms. HP Inc has also donated Star Wars TM Special Edition Notebook devices to 10 participating teachers. And during Computer Science Education Week in December, Disney will host an Hour of Code event for local students at their Los Angeles office, and Disney VoluntEARS will support Hour of Code events around the world.

The “Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” tutorial is the newest addition to Code.org’s online learning platform,  Code Studio, which offers a suite of self-guided computer science activities and courses for students to learn the fundamentals of computer science, starting as early as kindergarten.

At a time when the majority of K-12 schools don’t offer computer science, more than 5 million students have enrolled on Code Studio since its 2014 launch, including 10 percent of all K-8 students in the United States. Additionally, 43 percent of Code Studio students are girls, and 37 percent are black or Hispanic.

This reach is substantial, considering  women hold only 23% of computing jobs, just  18% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science are awarded to women, and only  22% of high school AP Computer Science exam takers are girls. Furthermore, only  18% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science are awarded to blacks and Latinos and, at the high school level,  9% of AP Computer Science exam takers are Hispanic, and just 4% are black.

Beyond the Hour of Code, Code.org has partnered with Disney on “Infinity Play Lab,” an environment where students code stories or games starring Disney Infinity versions of Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” Hiro and Baymax from “Big Hero 6” and Rapunzel of “Tangled.” Code.org has also released Hour of Code tutorials with artwork from Rovio’s Angry Birds, PopCap Games’ Plants vs. Zombies and the acorn-crazed squirrel Scrat from the Twentieth Century Fox animated series “Ice Age.”

Try a preview of the “Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code” tutorial now on Code Studio (http://Code.org/starwars). The experience will also be available on Disney.com soon.

And sign up to participate in this year’s Hour of Code event:  http://HourOfCode.com

Train2Game News Star Wars Battlefront Beta

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“Impressive. Most Impressive.” The Star Wars™ Battlefront™ beta surpassed a major milestone: more than nine million players logged in and played.

That makes this the single largest beta in the history of EA and they could not be happier that so many of you wanted to come in to get a small taste of what their passionate team has been working on.

Ever since Star Wars Battlefront was revealed back in April, they knew the beta would be a huge test for the game. The beta has been one of the most talked about topics around the game over the last six months, and EA were excited to see how it would be received.

And like Han Solo at the end of A New Hope, they were glad you showed up. Even more importantly than just showing up, players have been spending a lot of time playing, having a great time and leaving some invaluable feedback, as the game continues to be tuned and balance until launch on November 17, 2015 in North America, and November 19, 2015 in Europe.

A spokes person for EA said “On behalf of the team at DICE, and everyone at EA, thank you for playing. We hope you enjoyed what you played in the beta, which is just a small part of the overall experience. There’s a lot more to the game, including all of our multiplayer modes and mission types.”