Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers competition

BAFTAThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the call for entries for the 2015 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition in association with Nominet Trust, which aims to inspire the UK’s game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own game. The winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July. Entries are now open at until Monday 1 June.

Originally launched in 2010 for 11-16 year-olds, this year the age range for the competition has been expanded to include 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Entrants – who can be individuals or a team of up to three people – can choose to enter two creative categories: The YGD Game Concept Award, to create a concept for a new game; and the YGD Game Making Award, to make a game using freely available software. The winners will receive a host of prizes, including further development of their game with industry professionals.

Two new categories have also been added this year: The YGD Mentor Award, for an inspirational individual involved in the education of young game designers; and the YGD Hero Award, for a games industry professional who supports young game designers. The public can nominate their YGD Mentor, while the YGD Hero will be selected by BAFTA’s Games Committee.

The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity which gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. Support includes: a website ( where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources that link the BAFTYA YGD competition to the national curriculum; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.

Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Bethesda Softworks, Criterion Games (an EA Studio), Google, Jagex, King, Pinewood Studios Group, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Unity, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Abertay University supports the development of the games of the winners of the BAFTA YGD competition.

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “The BAFTA YGD competition is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at game design and get feedback from the creative people behind their favourite games. The games industry is one of the biggest and most dynamic entertainment industries in the world; we hope this competition inspires entrants to consider a career in games, as well as helping them better appreciate the artistry involved in making games. We can’t wait to share the winners with the industry and public at the YGD Awards ceremony in July.”

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “If the UK is to retain its world-leading position in the creative industries, we need to develop a highly skilled workforce. The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition equips young people with the creative digital skills, understanding and connections that they need to become the games designers of the future. It’s exciting to see young people move from simply playing games to designing and making their own ones. Nominet Trust is proud to be supporting this vital initiative – I can’t wait to see what ideas and games entrants come up with!”

The winning games from 2014 – Tomatos Role from 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins, from Taunton, and AlienX from 15 year-old Adam Oliver – will be on show at BAFTA’s Inside Games Arcade in advance of the British Academy Games Awards in March.

For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 26.01.15

GTA VAn interesting chart this week. Grand Theft Auto V stays at number one for a third consecutive week which now makes it the first GTA title to reach a total of seven weeks at number one. Saint’s Row IV Re-elected: Gat out of hell debuts at number four. A big retailer promotion on Call of Duty: Ghosts helps boost sales by 401%, propelling it back into the Top ten, up from thirty to number five. Finally Rugby 15 from Big Ben/Koch debuts at number eight.

All formats

Week ending 24 January 2015

15 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 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 for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: OpenWheel Kickstarter

OpenWheelA Train2Game Student; Laurence Gee, has begun working full time with games developer Brain in a Jar who have started an initiative to receive funding through Kickstarter for their latest game; OpenWheel.

Laurence joins the company as a full time employee to help develop OpenWheel and the company are requesting further support from the Train2Game community to make the game a reality. Laurence joined Brain in a Jar in February of 2011 on a Train2Game work placement scheme and he is now happily in full time employment as a 3D artist in the studio.

Brain in a Jar, has been developing racing games since 1998 and are based right next to Oulton Park race track in Cheshire. Racing is built in to the very foundation of the company. The company has worked on big games like Indycar and NASCAR, independent games of its own and has worked with some great developers on AAA games like: Driver: San Francisco and Need For Speed.

OpenWheel is an online multiplayer racing game which is fully customisable. There are no static 2D lobby screens to sit in waiting for a race to start. Once you have chosen your chassis and the track you want to race on you are taken straight into the action, you can even join mid-race. You can define, create and run your own global championships, or join existing ones. Become your own FIA and create a world championship for your friends and the best racers to come and compete in.

This is truly an immersive, passion filled racing game created by fans of high speed racing. The game is a fantastic concept with hours of playability and Brain in a Jar deserve all the pledges they can get on Kickstarter.

If you would like to pledge and view there great video, you can do so by going to

If you want to found out more about the studio go to

Train2Game News: Train2Game student releasing Boomba!

Boomba LogoTrain2Game Student, Fee Stewart, has been working with Radiation Burn LTD to create a new exciting game called, Boomba!

In the game you get to play as punks, rockers, emos, soldiers, cops and many more characters in an exciting and enjoyable turn based strategy game that is based described as Angry Birds meets Worms.

This turn based physics shooter is completely unique and plays like no other. There are over 50 different teams to choose from, with more to follow. Aimed at aged 7+ casual to medium game players, this title really is open to everyone. The accuracy of your shooting is combined with a range of exciting weaponry to be victorious; use chainsaw missiles, boxing glove bazookas and metal anvils to defeat your opponents.


Boomba will be available on: Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Windows 8 and Windows Phone, Kindle, Blackberry, Andoid, PC and Mac next month.

RadiationBurn Ltd. strives to provide fun and original IP for your enjoyment. The studio, founded in Middlesbrough 2010, creates fun and original titles of all sizes. The company was founded through winning the Microsoft Dream.Build.Play Challenge, Old Spice competition. A worldwide competition in which RadiationBurn Ltd. were voted winners, by a panel of judges and the gaming public.

Fee joined the company in October 2011 after finishing a Train2Game student placement at the company.

When asked her opinion of the game she said “Boomba! is something I thought I would be doing only once. It soon became a daily habit to both create the game and play it!”

You can find out more about the game by going to

Train2Game News: Train2Game radio talks to Laurence Gee

Laurence Gee (Artist)Train2Game radio this week spoke to Train2Game Art & Animation student Laurence Gee. Laurence tells us how he got his job at Brain In A Jar and the exciting new project he is working on which is moments away from going on to Kickstarter!

You can listen to the interview here:

or read the transcript below:

Hi my name’s Laurence Gee, I’m from Birkenhead and I’m on the art course.

Hiya Laurence, how you doing mate?

I’m not to bad, how about you Mark?

I’m excellent cheers mate. So then let’s start this off. So what’s your story? What are the past experiences that have shaped your life?

Basically, starting from School to College I basically focused my skills on Art and endeavor to get better and better at my art and try to focus on moving from the traditional art to the computer based art that I do now.

Excellent, so what do you currently do for a living?

I work as a 3D artist here at Brain In A Jar games development.

Excellent, how did you end up working there?

It was through placement. Train2Game got me a placement here, which I’m very grateful for, and I worked here for the placement and when the placement was over I was kindly offered the job.

Very nice and how long have you worked there?

2 years actually, just recently became 2 years.

Still enjoying it I assume?

I love it here, yeah!

So, what are you currently working on with the company if I can ask?

You can! We are literally about to release a Kickstarter any time soon, a game called Open Wheel. Kickstarter is a crowd-funding system. There’s a website you can go to and there are loads of different projects you can support. The actual users and the people that actually give them money are actually people of the world and basically Kickstarters a crowd-funding system where people actually get to judge the game themselves or the item it’s self that go on there.

So what we’ve done is we are putting a project on there called Open Wheel. An online racing game that we’ve designed and developed our selves. It’s pretty special because it features unique game connection system. There are no log in screens what so ever, when you want to race you can just drop straight into a game, in to any running server. No lobby’s means more time spent racing. You can customize the cars and drivers, loads of stats to track, on track celebrations, race teams, leagues. There’s lots to go in there.

So what drew you and the company to Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a great way, for small independent developers like ourselves, to fund projects, especially ones we really care about. If people like what we are trying to do then they can back us and help us out with the funding and stuff. The finances we need will make the game happen with a huge boost and we can make the game really really great!

What is your personal reason for getting into the gaming industry in the first place?

Do you remember Lemmings?

I do indeed, yeah!

I’m thinking back when I was at a really young age and I played my first game. Back from old PC games or modern consoles, I played computer games for a really long time. I was really intrigued by what went into a game, I wasn’t always intrigued about playing the game its self, but I spent a lot of time playing a game to figure who it was made and what made it work. That’s really what pulled me in.

Right is that what drew you to it was it, was that what drew you to the Art in particular or did that come from things in school?

What drew me to Art was that I’ve always done it. I’ve always been drawing and painted. I love to paint, I’m a very traditional artist and I decided I wanted to move in to the art in games because I wanted to see how they did it. When I discovered how they did it I thought it was quite interesting and I decided to take my traditional skills in to computer based skills.

So, how’s Train2Game helped you get to where you are now?

Well I started the course nearly three years ago now, very near the end of it, and I basically started the art course. I was frozen at the point where I had a basic job working in a shop and Train2Game contacted me to let me know they’d accepted me on the Art course and so I accepted, got on with the course, started doing the coursework and basically it was the placement that really helped me get to where I was.

Very nice. So finally then, where can people find out more about the project you’re working on?

Of course, that’s the main part! You can check out our Facebook page, Brain In A Jar, a twitter – we’ve got @Openwheel game and also @Braininatweets check out there – and also go to our website which is,

Well thank you very much Laurence!

No worries! Thank you very much

I’ll talk to you again, bye!

Take it easy, bye!

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Connor Adams

Connor AdamsTrain2Game spoke to Connor Adams this week about how I went from a Train2Game student to working at Atomhawk up in Newcastle.

Connor is a brilliant Artist you can check out his DeviantART page HERE or his portfolio HERE.

You can listen to Connors radio interview here –

or read the transcript below:

Hello I’m Connor, I live in Gateshead but I’m from Weymouth and I took the Art & Animation course.

Hi Connor, how you doing bud?
I’m not too bad man, how are you?

I’m excellent, thank you
Awesome, it’s lovely to hear your voice again.

Yours too! So tell me, what’s your story Connor? What are the past experiences that have shaped your life to make you who you are now?
Oh wow, that is a deep question. I suppose I started off by playing a lot of video games when I was young, like everyone. I took quite a weird path, I left school after finishing my GCSE’s and I just started painting and drawing all day because I wanted to design all these games but I didn’t really know what path to take. So I was painting and things like that and then I saw the Train2Game course and joined up on that and I attended a lot of Game Jams whilst studying everyday on my own time and getting all that down. Then I applied for the internship up here and here I am. I’m sure there is probably a lot more to it, but that’s all I can remember for now!

So where is it you applied for an internship for?
I applied up to Atomhawk. It’s based in the Northern Design Centre in Newcastle.

What kind of games do they make there?
The guys at the studio, all of us are concept artists and illustrators, so we have no programmers, we have no designers or anything like that. So people come to us and they out source us for concept art and illustration. We do a lot of stuff before games are released like we worked on Mortal Kombat. We are working on a lot of stuff right now but none of it I can say because it’s all under NDA, which is typical. It’s a lot of stuff like Sony and Warner Brothers, people like that. So it’s quite big clients but we don’t actually work on the games, we just make the concepts and illustrations.

What is the most dramatic or exciting thing you have done in your life previous to being at Atomhawk?
Oh god! All these questions Mark, I’m not sure I’m ready for them! I think the most scaring and exciting thing, was leaving school. Trying to take things in to my own hands. From leaving School and going straight to Train2Game that made things a lot easier. Going down that personal route was quite scary at first.

I know you were also part of Derp Studios as well. How was that experience?
I was part of Derp Studios, yeah. That was really, really great. I mean the Game Jam and the meeting with people and going up to Luton and doing all that was just great. The whole experience was fun and these guys I still talk to a lot of them today, Me and Amanda are mostly talking a lot and it’s great. It was a great bonding experience. It was great for contacts, it was great for skills, great experiences. Well I met you up at The Gadget Show which was a lovely experience.

It was indeed! We have been firm friends ever since.
Yeah absolutely, it was really great.

We touched on it before, what is your reason for getting into the gaming industry particularly?
It’s just games you know? It’s like what kind of guy can say they go to work and draw men shooting aliens and you know, Zombies and Monsters! It’s all fun and games. It is serious at the same time but it’s all play. It’s hard work but it’s play. To get paid to do that is just fantastic.

When did you actually get the job at Atomhawk that you have now?
My internship was 3 months ago, so back in September, August was when I was applying and got the internship but a few weeks ago they offered me a junior position which is going to last 6 months which is fantastic.

So you get a nice job just in time for Christmas then?
Absolutely yeah which is a real relief as Christmas is a horrible time.

What is your greatest ambition?
Oh OK, well I guess just to be the best, like a Pokemon trainer! I gotta keep on going and hit the top of your field, maybe one day in the future I will have my own Graphic Novel and I’ll be working on some AAA games. I dunno the future is very unpredictable so it’s hard to say really.

Finally then, if you could work for any studio what so ever, what would you work for?
Actually, genuinely I would rather work for my self. I think I would rather get some of my closest friends and make my own studio and make the games that we love.

So we should probably start working on that soon then?

Thank you very much buddy!
No worries, cheers mate.

Train2Game News: Student Diaries – 13.12.11

There are a few Train2Game students on work placement at DR Studios. Below is some diaries of how they are getting on.

Amanda Blatch week 12

Soooooo…. Diary this week. You know.. I think it’s kind of slipped my mind what I did last week, it passed by so quickly! There was a lot of work to do and that got done as we are sticking more strictly to our deadlines of getting  a new build out every Friday so we had a game to play over the weekend. With the latest build you can really tell the game is starting to come together and a couple of new features have been added into the game that helps move the game along at a speed that would be enjoyable for the player without being too easy. Overall, it’s looking very good atm with all the updates and changes to the game.

On top of that I have had more of a break in my usual UI making process, creating a couple new characters for the game which will form part of an exclusive content pack on release date. The splash screen itself has also had an almost completely new do-over and is much more polished and finalised, ready for promotion.

But apart from that there is not much more I can say, the game is close to being finished, we just need to keep pushing that little bit further to make the game the best we can make it! So, again, till next week.

Craig Moore Student Diary Week 55

What day is it?

It’s been a pretty intensive week here, trying to ensure that two builds go out a week while constantly improving and bug fixing is certainly akin to juggling cars. It’s been a smooth one though with very few hiccups and the build is going from strength to strength, I think our big focus next week will be to crush some of the gameplay blocking bugs that are really getting in the way of heavy play testing.

As with previous weeks I have been working closely with Tim to ensure new features get in to the game, it’s a really effective approach that ensures we are working on the same thing but each to our own abilities and insures rapid iteration and turnaround of features.

It feels like we have had this game under wraps for ages now, and in reality it is, it’s been a good six months and I cannot wait to show it to the world! I feel like we have taken everything that made My Sea Park cool and turned it up to 11 while adding some cool little features that I genuinely have never seen before in games of this genre.

Also don’t fret! This one is coming to both iOS and Android.

Getting this kind of experience and exposure is something I could never dreamed of getting 18 months ago, but here I am. It’s a lot of hard work but I would not change it for the world.


Matty WS week 53

This week has been quite busy again as usual; I’ve been remaking a few assets here and there and redoing some older animations that weren’t up to scratch. Over the weekends I’ve been playtesting the game as well as other games for ‘market research’. I’m finding Hayday pretty fun annoyingly. I’ve also been playing chess more lately because of Social Chess on the iPad, but before that I used to play a game a day or more sometimes, so now it’s just a case of playing multiple games each day over time. I also caved and bought things on the iPad, Red alert and LSAW (land sea air warfare, tis an RTS). The store is so expensive though! Everything on android is cheap or free, cannot see why it’s not the same for iDevices.

The next project (although still up in the air) is starting to sound pretty awesome now and I really cannot wait for it to start!


Train2Game News: Student Diaries – 06.12.12

Amanda Blatch Week 11

Another diary, another week! Not really sure what there is to say. It was a very long  week full of hard work and more UI! Fortunately I have had my week mixed up a little by being given some new characters for additional game content to design, vector, cut and rig. They’re coming along very nicely now and I’m just about to finish work on my second of what I believe to be at least four new additions to the final game. Friday was very exciting though, we all had a big group meeting with everyone making the game to have their say about what we have achieved so far and how to improve on top of that, we did more work, went home then went out for a meal with everyone.

Unfortunately not much else on the in-studio stuff to talk about and I haven’t been working on too much in my spare time since I reignited the desperate need to get through Section 2 of my course so to remain on track and continue learning other game-making techniques that I may not see in the studio on a daily basis. But that’s it for now.. Maybe next week I’ll have something new to chat about. Tarra for now!

Craig Moore Week 54

It’s Friday, and everything is a bit of a blur!

Firstly work, it’s been an incredibly busy week; the pressure is really on to get the many aspects of the game finished and the time left to do them is getting ever so smaller.

We have had a really productive week bouncing between myself and two of the other guys to crack down a certain element of the game and get it well and truly finished. As with the way development goes, I guess, we just fell short but we did get a lot done and it is much better for it.

Next week the plan is to continue this three pronged approach and hit two more aspects of the game on the head. It really is at the stage where there are a few elements that just need tying together to really make it shine!

In other news I managed to snag myself a brand new Wii-U yesterday, a day before release; thanks to’s awesome pre-order service. I got the ZombiU special edition, but have only managed to play it for an hour or so. My Initial thoughts are positive, I’m certainly looking forward to what they come up with and the underlying potential is incredible! I read somewhere about Unity being a developer option and would love to take advantage of that somewhere down the line.


Matty WS Week 52

This week has been a bit mad, lots of things to do. I’m now going through all of the images in the game and “unifying” them, making them all the correct sizes and removing the background solid colour. We had a late night on Thursday and had some takeaway. Suffice to say there are a lot of images in the game so I’ve been kept busy. I still need to continue on Monday morning to get it all done.

In other news, I got hold of an iPad mini this week which is very nice indeed, it means I can play the games we make regardless of what devices I have or if they aren’t compatible, and it will help me see what competition is out there. So I am a happy Matty this week!

I went home to Southampton this weekend and played many games (including our own). The game we’re making as we speak is plodding along nicely and will be out very soon hopefully. I’m sure you’ll all be just as excited as we are when the game hits the metaphorical shelves. More next week!


Train2Game News: Eurogamer 2012 Video

At the end of September Train2Game were at Eurogamer held in London’s Earls Court.

Below is the video from the event which has interviews with several students talking about their experiences with Train2Game and the Microsoft world record winning Game Jam.

Train2Game News: Student Diaries – 22.11.12

Amanda Blatch

So this week (I am going to repeat myself from the last time I’m sure) I am still plugging away at the in-game UI. It’s been taking a long time to get it right but it’s starting to get there as everyday we’re finding things that need improving upon or can be done differently. Again, some things that may seem simple… never are. Or they are, but you do them in a million different ways (ok, maybe a dozen then.) to try and find that ‘perfect’ one. Most of the work has now been done for the game art-wise as far as I am aware, it’s just a matter of putting it all together and getting it out there for testing so we can try and ‘break’ the game to find all its weak spots and improve upon those issues.

The new project has been confirmed, however it’s still in the early stages of concept so it’ll probably be another couple weeks or so before any work can be done for it. So far the concepts are looking good and it’s on a subject matter I love! I’m hoping I can stick around here long enough to see that game all the way through and done in a way that has been talked about briefly. Exciting stuff..

Anyways, that’s it from me now.. this diary has taken me nearly four hours to write as I am working at the same time as doing this because… distraction!

Same time next week munchkins.

Craig Moore

We took some major strides this week in the look and feel of the game and it, thankfully, really is coming together. As much as we all learnt from the creation of My Sea Park, I feel that we have learnt even more from this one and it just means the next one is going to be, yet again, even better!

With the game coming together and Art having more free time, work has been going into promotional activities, icons, and the like as we gear up towards early artwork for the next title. The desire is to almost be working on two titles at the same time, as one comes to a close another one starts up so that we are constantly working on something with no downtime; it really is the best use of our time and makes the office like a little beehive.

I have a fun weekend of Train2Game work prepared this weekend, I am pretty much on my final portfolio piece, a behemoth of a document that will take me a few weeks but I am aiming to get it done before Christmas; and then that is me done. It will be weird feeling that I have actually come to the end of the course and hopefully I will pass, maybe more. Fingers crossed my experience here at DR along with my new qualifications should set me up for something bigger!

In yet other news, for those not aware, the Wii-U launches in the states on Sunday. I am incredibly interested in it having not had chance to give it a bash at Eurogamer and am particularly interested in consumer reception of it, particularly certain games like ZombiU.

Till next week!


Matty Wyett Simmonds

This week has been busy as usual, I’ve been mostly changing and editing the games ‘world’ this week which has been a very heavy job (I made the world myself, just didn’t make it easy to edit). I’ve been remaking and adding a lot of things to improve on the users experience with the game, making some things more obvious for the users where needed. Other than that I can’t really say much, as this is the only thing that’s taken up my entire week. I stayed late on Thursday on my own this time, ordered me some takeaway and blasted music on the sound system. I had to get things done for Friday morning!

I think my week has been pretty quiet to be honest. I’ve had goals to work towards and have been trying my best to get things done as fast as I can. Planetside 2 Beta is now closed and the game is being launched on the 20th! It’s free to play so no one has an excuse not to get it and play the game with me ^^. I’ve enjoyed the game so far and plan to continue playing it. Comparing it to another FPS such as Blacklight for example, I found that Blacklight was easier, people have less health/the guns have more damage than planetside2 and it makes for some pretty epic fights where you won’t die instantly and you won’t be able to kill anyone easily. If you do play the game before to drop me a message first to see what server I’m on ^^

Anyway, that’s all for this week as I need to get back to work now. Plus I’m running out of virtual ink.