Train2Game news: UK Charts – UFC Undisputed 3 knocks out the competition

Train2Game students see THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3 take top spot in this week’s UK Charts, marking the publisher’s first No.1 since Homefront in March last year.

The Train2Game Blog recently interviewed UFC Undisputed 3 senior game designer Wes Bunn, who spoke in depth about development of the game, and offered some excellent insights into the games industry.

Last week’s No.1, Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning drops out of the top ten entirely, slipping to No.12.

FIFA 12 continues to sell strongly, climbing three to No.2, while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 also sees an increase in sales moving up to No.3.  A new Nintendo 3DS version, and discounting on other platforms, sees Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games jump to No.4, while Battlefield 3 is up one to No.5.

Former No.1 Final Fantasy XIII-2 slips to No.6 this week, sitting one place ahead of Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure which reaches its highest ever chart position at No.7. Last week’s debutant The Darkness II drops five to No.8, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim remains at No.9, while Just Dance 3 moves up two to complete the top ten.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection join Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning in leaving the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 18th February 2012 is therefore as follows:

1: UFC Undisputed 3 – THQ
2: FIFA 12 – EA
3: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – Activision
4: Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games – Sega
5: Battlefield 3 – EA
6: Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Square Enix
7: Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure – Activision
8: The Darkness II – 2K
9: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Bethesda
10: Just Dance 3 – Ubisoft

Releases for the coming week include a large amount of PlayStation Vita titles, alongside the launch of Sony’s new handheld console.

What are your thoughts on the charts this week? Is it a well deserved No.1 for UFC Undisputed 3?

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

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Train2Game UFC Undisputed 3 interview with THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn – Part 2

Train2Game recently sat down for a chat with THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3 Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn at a preview event in London. In an in depth interview with The Train2Game Blog, Bunn discussed developing UFC Undisputed 3, Game DesignQA Testing, getting into the industry and more.

In part two of our interview, the THQ Senior Game Designer discusses getting into the games industry and the importance of QA Testing in game development.   Read it right here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game Scribd page. As usual, leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Read part one of our interview with THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn here.

How did you get started in the games industry?

I actually got started as a QA Tester back in 2000. It’s funny how this industry works because it’s really small. I started at a Crave Entertainment, who had the UFC license way back in 2000, I tested UFC Tap Out 1 and 2 back on the original Xbox. That’s how I got started and that’s how I got introduced to UFC.

So how important is testing to the game development process?

I think testing is huge. Back when I started there wasn’t these education programmes where you could go to the different schools and learn about game design, which is cool now, but back then they didn’t have that. But I think in QA Testing you get to see the whole development process, so you get to see iterative builds come in and see the changes, learn the debugging process; that’s a huge part of making sure the game comes out polished, that there’s no imbalanced things in the game, that there’s no exploits, so testing is a huge process, not just with our game but any game.

How did you work your way up from being a QA Tester to being a Senior Game Designer now?

As a QA Tester you get the opportunity to suggest things, that’s basically how I got started when I was working on the original UFC was suggesting ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we do this, and this is how I think this should work.’ I went to different studios but eventually became a Lead QA tester and was mentoring other QA Testers, then I got into working into production. From production I found out I didn’t really like the production aspect of it, I liked the creative aspects, so from production I got into some junior design work at a Sony studio. I’ve been designing ever since.

For those who might not know, what are the differences between game production and game design?

The production aspect deals more with scheduling, making sure everything comes in on time, making sure that if you’re working with a licensed product, especially, you deal specifically with the licensor. Production also deals with managing the QA Testing process, the development process, dealing with the licensor and marketing as well. Designer focuses on the creative aspects of the game, the game content. That’s where I prefer to be.

So how big is the game design team for UFC Undisputed 3?

It’s pretty big! The situation that we’re in is kind of unique. We’re a co-development team, so we have a group of game designers at the THQ offices and then we have a group of game designers at Yuke’s office in Japan and we co-develop UFC Undisputed 3 together. Most of the design concepts are generated by the THQ team, implementation is done by Yuke’s then the balance and tuning is done by THQ. But there’s a lot of back and forth with Yuke’s, they’ve been great to work with and have offered up some suggestions and have been willing to accept suggestions and things we come up with.

With Yuke’s being based in Japan and THQ in the USA, how do you go about collaborating with them?

It’s been really challenging, we’ve done a lot of teleconferences with them, but we’ve made a lot trips out there. Last year alone we made ten trips to Japan, so I’ve racked up the frequent flyer miles! There are a lot of TV conferences in addition to meetings on site.

Back to getting into the industry, what advice would you give to those aspiring to work in it?

Probably the biggest thing to do, the best thing, is play a lot of games. Not just the mainstream games, the blockbuster games, play a lot of indie games and expand your pallet so you can touch every area. As far as getting into the industry is concerned, you break in through focus group tests. Usually a company will bring people in to test their game and give feedback on what they think of the game. We do focus tests for our products, there’s usually an opportunity there if they like your suggestions enough to bring you on as a QA Tester or something. Now they have the schools you can go to that’s an avenue as well, I have some friends who are enrolled in schools now, but back when I was around they didn’t have that!

And would community created content, such as that of UFC Undisputed 3, be something an aspiring game developer could show to potential employers?

That’s true actually, especially for an artist, creating stuff with user generated content and saying ‘this is what I made’ will help with a CV as well. I think publishers and developers are looking at that stuff.

Thanks for your time Wes.

UFC Undisputed 3 is released on 17th February 2012 for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Part 1 of The Train2Game Blog interview with THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn is here. 

For more about UFC Undisputed 3, and some great advice about getting into the industry, see The Train2Game Blog interview with UFC Undisputed 3 Neven Dravinski  from last year’s Gamescom.

 

Train2Game UFC Undisputed 3 interview with THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn – Part 1

Train2Game recently sat down for a chat with THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3 Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn at a preview event in London. In an in depth interview with The Train2Game Blog, Bunn discussed developing UFC Undisputed 3, Game Design, QA Testing, getting into the industry and much more.

In the first part of this two part interview, the THQ Senior Game Designer discusses the game design process for UFC Undisputed 3. Read it right here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game Scribd page. As usual, leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Part two of The Train2Game Blog interview with Wes Bunn is right here.

Train2Game Blog: First of all, tell us what your role as Senior Game Designer for UFC Undisputed 3 involves?

Wes Bunn: Pretty much every area of the game from combat to modes to everything! And I’ve been on the franchise since 2006; I was the original designer on the project so I’ve been working on this game for the past six years.

How did you get started with the first project, and how have you keep UFC Undisputed titles fresh?

It’s actually pretty crazy to see the evolution of the past three games. Back in 2006 when I first started there was no game, it was all on paper, all theories about how the game would work. To see where it is now, it’s come a long way and UFC Undisputed 3 is really what I say is five years of development, not just the last two years that we’ve been working on it. Because we’ve always been trying to improve each year and I think that this year when people play it they’ll feel a difference and see it’s by far the best one.

So when you’re designing the game, how difficult is it to create a balance between all the fighting styles, making sure one isn’t overly powered or another isn’t overly weak?

It’s definitely a tightrope that you have to walk, balancing the strikers versus the grapplers. Typically, the guys who are very dominant in their striking skills are lacking in other areas, or are not as effective in other areas. Chuck Liddell is a good example, he’s a great striker, but off his back he’s not very good, so my counter to that would be a good wrestler who can try to take him down and put him on his back and see what he can do. It’s been challenging to get the balance in there, but we’ve been able accomplish that I think, in this game specifically with the additions that we’ve made to the stats and working with the UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, I think players will see the fighters are balanced pretty well.

Pride fighters feature in UFC Undisputed 3, was them and their different rules like developing a whole new game in addition to UFC Undisputed 3?

Yeah, we always joked that it’s a game within a game because when you jump into pride it’s a completely different experience because you’re playing with different commentaries, different rules, different fighters, a different environment… The different moves were probably the most challenging, because getting the soccer kick in there, and the foot stomp, because it isn’t something we’ve had to do in the past.

Tell us about the new community created content sharing options for UFC Undisputed 3.

Yeah, actually that’s a new feature this year, we have this content sharing thing. Not only is it created fighters you can upload and download, but it’s also your created logos, so if you have any kind of tattoos you can create those and post those online, people can download and rate those, as well as our highlight reels, that’s a new feature. So you can upload and download those as well.

UFC Undisputed 3 has moved the series away from a yearly release cycle. How has that changed development and why was that decision made?

The switch in the development time just gave us more time to polish and tune the game as well as introduce new features and systems. It’s something that I think you’ll see in the product when you play, the polish that we were able to get done and the tuning, as it’s really substantial compared to the previous titles. I think moving forward that’s going to be the plan, we’ll do the two year cycle because it gives us more time to what we want to do.

Last year saw the release of UFC Fitness for Kinect, have you thought about somehow implementing Kinect controls into UFC Undisputed 3?

Maybe in the future we could do it for the training. I don’t know how you’d actually do it from character to character with Kinect because then it would just be grappling an invisible person on the floor!

Or multiplayer with a friend!

In that case I’d rather go out there and grapples for real rather do something with an invisible person or somebody for the game! But that might be something for the future, maybe for hitting mitts or something with Kinect, potentially.

How much input into UFC Undisputed 3 did you have from UFC fighters themselves?

We get a lot of “suggestions” I’ll say from fighters about their stats and move sets. I know “Rampage” Jackson has been asking for a head kick three games! I told him if he does a head kick in a fight then I’ll give him one in the game, but most the time people are pretty happy when they see their character in the game. Most of them are just blown away that they’re in the game and their visuals and tattoos are in there and they say it really looks like them. As far as how they play themselves, some of the fighters are big gamers so they get it, some of them aren’t so much so it varies, but most of the time I’d say it’s been positive.

There aren’t any aspiring game designers among the UFC fighters then!

Rampage has said once before that he could design the game for us and I’d like to have him come in and do it!

UFC Undisputed 3 is available from 17th February 2012 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Part 2 of The Train2Game Blog interview with THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn is here.

For more about UFC Undisputed 3, and some great advice about getting into the industry, see The Train2Game Blog interview with UFC Undisputed 3 Neven Dravinski  from last year’s Gamescom.

 

Train2Game news: THQ Senior Designer’s advice on getting into the industry – “play a lot of games”

Train2Game students should play as many types of game as possible in order to enhance their chances of finding work in the games industry.

That’s according to THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn, who was speaking to The Train2Game Blog in a soon to be published interview.

“Probably the biggest thing to do, the best thing, is play a lot of games. Not just the mainstream games, the blockbuster games, play a lot of indie games and expand your pallet so you can touch every area.” said Bunn, speaking to The Train2Game Blog at a UFC Undisputed 3 preview event.

And the Senior Game Designer, who started his career as a QA Tester, said that taking part in testing programmes is also a good way to get a foot in the door.

“As far as getting into the industry is concerned, you break in through focus group tests. Usually a company will bring people in to test their game and give feedback on what they think of the game.” said Bunn, adding that if a developer likes your feedback, they could offer you a role as a QA Tester.

“We do focus tests for our products, there’s usually an opportunity there if they like your suggestions enough to bring you on as a QA Tester or something.”

Bunn added that schools, are also a good way of learning the skills needed to get into the industry, though of course, Train2Game students already know this!

“Now they have the schools you can go to that’s an avenue as well, I have some friends who are enrolled in schools now, but back when I was around they didn’t have that!” said the UFC Undisputed 3 Senior Game Designer.

The full Train2Game Blog interview with THQ Senior Game Designer Wes Bunn will be published soon.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on his advice? Do you agree that playing a wide range of games is helpful for getting into the industry?

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

Train2Game interview with UFC Undisputed 3 Producer Neven Dravinski

 

Train2Game was at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany from 17th August to 21st August. While there, we spoke with UFC Undisputed 3 Producer Neven Dravinski.

In an in-depth interview, he discussed what his role as producer involves, the game design process, the art & animation techniques used to model fighters, and much more.

Dravinski also reveals how he got into the games industry and gives advice on what Train2Game students should do to follow in his footsteps. Read the full interview below, or listen to it via Train2Game Radio.

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

Train2Game at gamescom Neven Dravinski Producer UFC Undisputed 3 talks to Danny Palmer

Train2Game at gamescom Neven Dravinski Producer UFC Undisputed 3 talks to Danny Palmer and shares the shortage of QA testers in the industry!