Train2Game News Insomnia Game Festival Returns

Since its inception, Player1 Events have continued their endeavour to grow and diversify their flagship show, Insomnia, with the next event in the succession announced for 15th-18th April at the NEC, Birmingham.

Living up to its namesake, it’s now a 4-day gaming expo with a non-stop LAN running 24 hours a day alongside prominent esports titles, teams and tournaments.
 

With previous activations at the event such as The Call of Duty World League, Ubisoft Experience, WWE, League Fest and even a night of the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses music world tour. A concert consisting of a 66 piece orchestra and a visual accompaniment on an LED panel screen, all planned, promoted and event managed by Player1. 
 

Alongside the LAN, Insomnia Gaming Festival is the longest-running UK games festival featuring a huge exhibition with content, tech, activations and brands.

The event attracts an impressive 100,000 gamers each year, solidifying itself as a must-attend event for gamers and families alike.
 

With new ways to engage your attendees than ever before, events are in a truly unique position. It’s one of the reasons we’ve invested in the latest equipment so we’re ready for the exciting opportunities that come with the return to events. From casual titles to the latest AAA releases, we’re kitted out and can’t wait to get stuck in.“ Phil Crawford, Marketing and Social Media Manager, at Player1 Events remarked on their new and improved offering.
 

More recently, following a transformative 12 months in the industry, Player1 have focused on expanding their extensive inventory available for rental.

From entry level specification to the very latest high-end kit, their arsenal includes high-quality peripherals, PS5s, Xbox Series X’s and PCs well equipped with RTX 3080’s graphic cards to handle both intensive tournament and VR play.
 

The team supports a range of partners to help them deliver their events; including full show logistics management, conferences, esports events and bespoke gaming content. With these new additions and ample experience in the space, Player1 Events are primed for the return of in-person events, ready to support brands in developing their own activations and communities.

For more information on Player1 events and their upcoming hand in events, visit www.player1events.com.

Train2Game News EGX 2022 Tickets Available

Tickets are now on sale for EGX Birmingham (formerly EGX Rezzed), returning to NEC Birmingham 4-6 March 2022!

The UK’s three-day celebration of all things gaming; EGX features a host of hands-on games, panels and more.
 

EGX Birmingham 2022 will lean on expanding their Rezzed Zone, with all the beloved indie games that EGX Rezzed traditionally delivers, but will also meet the need for AAA publishers to showcase spring releases. 
 

Tickets are now available from the EGX website. Day tickets cost £20+BF and Super Passes £45+BF.
 

Visitors can look forward to Consoles and PCs to play, as well as a chance to enjoy Esports Tournaments, Developer Panelsand a huge collection of Indie Games.
 

In addition to all the epic fun, games industry hopefuls and professionals alike will be able to visit the GI Academy Zone, which will include education exhibition areas, careers talks and networking opportunities.
 

Last year’s EGX was a very special event for fans and developers alike, bringing the video games community back together for their first in-person event since 2019. This year, EGX aims to keep players and their experience at the centre of events, allowing fans and developers to continue coming together, celebrating the games community and creating unforgettable memories.

Train2Game News Live Action Inmersive Cinema Gaming Experience

Aviary Studios is thrilled to announce that their live action video game The Gallery will launch this April for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, iOS and Android platforms.

And, in a first for Europe, The Gallery will also release in UK cinemas where the audience will play the game by majority decision as part of an immersive and participative interactive experience.

Written and directed by Paul Raschid, one of the most prolific live action video game / interactive film creatives, The Gallery is a thrilling combination of hostage thriller and social drama with a dash of world film festival cinema aesthetic.

Filmed over a 6 week period in February and March, 2021, the game immerses audiences in an interactive experience set in two time periods – 1981 and 2021, both of which are of considerable political, social and cultural significance in UK history, cleverly reflected in the nuanced story. Players will face over 150 decision points as they navigate a story full of mystery and intrigue. 

An exciting cast has been assembled for The Gallery including George Blagden (Versailles and Vikings); Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia); Kara Tointon (Mr. Selfridge and Eastenders); Rebecca Root (The Queen’s Gambit); Richard Fleeshman (The Sandman and Coronation Street), Shannon Tarbet (Killing Eve and Love Sarah) and Fehinti Balogun (I May Destroy You).

The live action video (FMV) game genre debuted in the mid 1980s and was touted as the future of video games but was finally declared dead in the mid 1990s. The current renaissance of this somewhat niche genre –  a confluence of film and games – began around 2015 with such titles as Late Shift and Her Story and was turbo charged  in 2019 with Netflix’s  Bandersnatch. With filmmakers such as Paul Raschid (who has won a BAFTA Scotland for his linear film work) now looking to extend the live action video game to a wider film and TV audience and offering more diverse genres than the traditional horror experience, this niche genre could well be set for a resurgence. 

The Gallery will launch this April for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, iOS and Android platforms and a UK interactive cinema release. Please visit the official websites www.aviaryfilms.co.uk and www.paulraschid.com   

Train2Game News Ian Livingstone Knighted

Today, Hiro Capital is proud to announce that its co-founding Partner, Ian Livingstone has been awarded a Knighthood by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Ian is best known as one of the founders of Games Workshop (Warhammer) and Eidos (Lara Croft Tomb Raider) and as the creator of the Fighting Fantasy series of adventure gamebooks.

Over the course of his legendary career, Sir Ian has made innumerable contributions to the art and industry of video and role-playing games.

Three of Ian’s recent investments – Tonic Games (Fall Guys), Playdemic (Golfclash), and Sumo Digital – were acquired in 2021 at unicorn valuations and Hiro Capital has made 20 early-stage games investments in the last 2 years.
 
“With 5 unicorn scale games start-ups under his questing belt, Hiro Capital is proud to celebrate Sir Ian’s knighthood. His bravery, chivalry, courtliness and hermetical talents make him one of the most powerful paladins in video games. We are proud to have Sir Ian co-leading the Hiro Capital guild of mages and sell-swords as we ride forward into the Metaverse of 2022,” said Luke Alvarez and Cherry Freeman, Hiro co-founders. 
 
“Simply put, it is a huge honour for me and fantastic recognition for the UK games industry and the brilliant people who work in it. The industry has come a long way since I founded my first startup and I believe more than ever in Games and Gameplay as a global force for good.” – said Sir Ian Livingstone.

As a digital skills champion, Ian also recently founded the Livingstone Academy, which opened its doors in September 2021 – an all-through school for ages four to eighteen that aims to give its students the tools they need to succeed as young creators in a digital world. 

Find out more at https://www.livingstone-aspirations.org/ 

Train2Game News GB Results For Global eSports

Earlier this year the British Esports Association selected the 2021 teams to represent Great Britain for this year’s Global Esports Games (GEG) 2021 in Singapore.

Teams from more than 80 countries competed last weekend at a medal event which didn’t include prize money. The 2021 games had tournaments in Street Fighter V, Dota 2 Open, Dota 2 Women and eFootball PES. 

The inaugural games took place from December 17th-19th where Great Britain had teams and players competing for their chance to secure a medal. The teams were led by Vexed Gaming’s Chief Gaming Officer, Mark Weller, as team manager. 

The Dota 2 Women’s team played on the main stage, securing a Silver medal to the hosting country Singapore. 

Great Britain team manager Mark Weller commented “Closing out the first global esports games with a Silver medal and 2 close 4th place finishes (1-2 and 2-3) is a fantastic start for what could be a strong national programme, Our journey to Singapore was met with many struggles, but I feel we are building the foundations of something truly fantastic with your GB esports roster. I think we can walk away proud, showing that Great Britain is home to some exceptional talent and I look forward to building on these foundation’s we laid in 2021″. 

For an overview of all events, please see below.   

Dota 2 Open  

With an early start the Dota 2 Open team competed in their semi-finals game against Singapore. Despite their best efforts, Great Britain fell short against the home nation 0-2, ending their journey in the Global Esports Games 2021 with a 4th place finish.

Captain of the Great Britain Dota 2 Open team commented:
“Unfortunately we did not reach the expectations we had but I’m happy we are able to learn from this experience so we can come back stronger next year.”  

Dota 2 Women  

Firstly, Great Britain faced Mongolia in the semi-finals with their chance to secure a spot in the grand finals. The team secured the victory 2-0 where their next game would see them face against the hosting country’s team: Singapore. 

Heading onto the main stage, Great Britain started off the first match in the best-of-three series with a victory, putting themselves 1-0 up against Singapore. After a long game filled with nail-biting moments, the hosting country leveled up the series 1-1, taking it to its full lengths.   

The final match saw the game running over 70 minutes long, where Singapore took the edge resulting in Great Britain securing a Silver medal finish.

Great Britain player Bellemiku commented: “From where we started in the beginning, I am so proud of how far we have come. We prepared for the matches to the best of our ability and our series vs Mongolia and Singapore showed that. We went into the finals with low expectations and winning that first match felt amazing, it’s a shame we couldn’t close out the series but the final 80 minute match just displays how close it really was. I’m very excited to see more opportunities like this in the future!”   

eFootball 2022 PES    

On December 17th the eFootball 2022 PES qualifiers took place, where MrMyClub1 was representing team Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The day started off strong with a victory against Hungary. 

Moving into the next two sets of games against Montenegro and Libya, despite a valiant attempt from MrMyClub1, he wasn’t able to progress further in the tournament losing to both countries. 

He commented: “Overall it’s been an incredible experience, very very competitive as I had imagined and just unlucky not to get through in the end as it was very close.” 

Street Fighter V  

The Street Fighter V action started off with a group stage where player Kim-Phillipe finished off with a clean sheet 4-0, progressing to the bracket stages of the tournament. 

Countries within the group were: Paraguay, Singapore, Jamaica and Mongolia.

The following day The4Philzz took to the main stage against Brazil. Starting off 0-1 down, he later tied up the series with the character Falke. With the momentum of taking game two, he managed to close out the series 3-1 and secured his place in the semi-finals against Chinese Taipei.   

Whilst the games were close, he unfortunately fell 1-3 in the semi-finals and is set to participate in a third-place match-up against Pakistan. 

Pakistan took the series 3-1 in a heavily contested bout for the bronze medal, leaving Great Britain with a 4th place finish in the Street Fighter V tournament at the Global Esports Games 2021. 

He commented: “My time at the Global Esports Games 2021 in Singapore was great! Started my group stages with a flawless 4-0 record. I then moved on to the top 8 qualifiers the next day. Many hard battles were fought and my journey ended in 4th place.”  

In the coming weeks you can watch back Great Britain’s journey behind the scenes in Singapore, with videos to be uploaded to the British Esports Association’s YouTube channel. 

You can also view all Great Britain rosters and final placements on the British Esports website.  

Train2Game News D3t Partners With UK Unity Centre of Excellence

d3t the award-winning, co-development studio within the game technology sector is delighted to announce its partnership with the UK’s only Unity Centre of Excellence at HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology.

Based at MediaCity and operated by IN4 Group, the centre promises a mixture of guidance and supported learning for games programming students, with industry professionals on hand to ensure that they are provided with the tools and knowledge to enable them to flourish within the industry or their existing roles. 

d3t, with its combined 450 years of industry insight and experience, will be supporting the centre through a combination of workshops, roundtables and guiding new start-up projects. 

Cheshire-based d3t is also part of Keywords Studios, the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry and beyond.

Commenting on the partnership, Phil Owen, Head of Engineering at d3t said: “We have a close relationship with the team at HOST and we were keen to be a part of this project right from the get-go. Entering at such an early stage ensures that both students and members alike can start to get the advice and support they need without delay. 

“At d3t, supporting and mentoring the next generation of games programmers, on a wide variety of game development environments, including Unity and Unreal, is a key focus of ours. We also work with universities and initiatives both locally and nationally to ensure that students get the support they need to enter and thrive within the games industry, and we are excited to continue this with HOST.”

Simon Benson, Director of Immersive Technology at HOST, said: “d3t has a wealth of industry experience and we’re excited to bring their knowledge and expertise of gaming technology to the HOST community. The support on offer will be vital towards developing digital pioneers with the technical skills they need to innovate and grow in their careers.”

The Unity Centre of Excellence at HOST offers cutting-edge, industry-relevant skills development and fast-tracks students into leading professional roles in the technology sector. 

To find out more information on the Unity Centre of Excellence and HOST, please click here

Train2Game News Game Music Festival 2022

The details of the 2022 edition of the Game Music Festival have been unveiled. This time, the fully fledged festival dedicated to video game soundtracks will take place at the famous Royal Festival Hall in London.

On the 5th and 6th of March 2022, the venue will play host to original arrangements of fan-favourite video game soundtracks, as well as various accompanying events. An educational programme will take place on the first day, while the second day will be dedicated to live concerts. The three previous editions of the Game Music Festival have been praised by fans worldwide, attracting an audience of over 12,000 on-site guests in total.

The whole initiative is organised by the Game Music Foundation, and tickets are now available for purchase at gmfest.com.


The Jazz of Cuphead is the first concert at GMF 2022. The exuberant jazz score of Cuphead, an unmistakably stylish platformer, will be interpreted on stage by a seasoned big band. Full of early styles of jazz mixed with ragtime music, the original soundtrack of Cuphead swiftly transports the listener to a world inspired by Duke Ellington and Count Basie, but always with a twist. All of this has led to Cuphead winning the well-deserved BAFTA Games Award for Best Music.

Cuphead’s composer, Kristofer Maddigan, will join the audience to see his score brought to life by the Bartosz Pernal Orchestra – an ensemble of experienced musicians led by a charismatic trombone player.


Lauded by critics and millions of fans worldwide upon release , Ori and the Will of the Wisps was soon hailed as a masterpiece, with special merit given to its unforgettable score by Gareth Coker, a multi-BAFTA-nominated composer and winner of the 2021 Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Video Game Score.

Together with Ori and the Blind Forest, both of these universally acclaimed soundtracks comprise the musical programme of The Symphony of the Spirits, the second concert of Game Music Festival 2022.

These arrangements have been created by maestro Robert Kurdybacha, who is no stranger to the music of video games – he has arranged several fan-favourite symphonies for previous editions of the festival. Gareth Coker will also attend this very special occasion at the Royal Festival Hall. The performance by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Hertfordshire Chorus will take the audience on a journey through Ori’s world as never before.


Game Music Festival will not only present these concerts, but also multiple educational events.

On Saturday the 5th of March, the GMF 2022 educational programme will host masterclass workshops and other sessions, where participants will be able to see behind the scenes of how audio is created for games, improve their skills and learn many tips and tricks in the field. Details of the educational programme will be unveiled later on. These sessions will be a unique opportunity to have a closer look into the world of music and sound in contemporary video games.

This will be a great event for anyone who plans to build a career composing or designing sound in games.


As the organisers say: “This time the festival will be held in London, but apart from changing the venue, our approach remains consistent: we aspire to maintain high artistic quality which has become the hallmark of GMF. As in previous editions, we extract the musical essence of selected games to present them in a way that will satisfy not only the fan community but also music lovers in general. Besides the two big concerts, we also invite you to the educational programme which will once again be a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience for audio professionals. We hope that both our regular audience as well as newcomers will be pleased with the end result at London’s Southbank Centre.”

For the latest updates, be sure to follow the event’s Facebook page.


Tickets:

Ticket prices start from 25 GBP per concert and rise according to seat location. Strictly limited VIP vouchers are also available – they include the best seats, as well as meetings with all composers that will appear at the festival (in person or online). All tickets are being sold via gmfest.com.

Train2Game News Stream For Mind

Stream for Mind is a timed streaming challenge to fundraise for mental health charity Mind.

Supporters can take on one of the following timed challenges or choose their own.
 

  • Stream 5 hours: for the 1 in 5 children with a mental health problem who wait for over 6 months to see a mental health specialist.
  • Stream 15 hours: for the 1 in 15 people who attempt to take their own life each year.
  • Stream 23 hours: for the 23% of us who experience a mental health problem.

Everyone who takes part in Stream for Mind can pick the length of streaming challenge that’s right for them, or take part in a different kind of challenge with their stream.

Hashtag: #StreamForMind

When is it and how can I sign up?

Sign-up for free at:

Streamers can choose when they do their challenge and they don’t need to complete it in one go. For example, it could be split over a week or month, and fundraising could take place during every stream until the hour’s target is reached.

Why is it important?

Mental health problems affect one in four of us every year. Many of us will be feeling the lasting impact of the pandemic on our mental health and wellbeing, especially those of us with existing mental health problems. A recent survey by Mind of people’s mental health during the pandemic, found that more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health had got worse. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure we are there for everyone who needs us.

The money raised by Stream for Mind supporters will enable Mind to continue to provide services like the Infoline, legal line, and online peer support community, Side by Side. Since the start of the pandemic, the gaming and streaming community has helped to raise over £700,000, so far, for Mind.

How does gaming and streaming help our mental health?

Playing games can have a positive impact on our mental health by giving us time to relax, connect with others or try out new skills. Mind’s survey found that one in three (33%) young people and more than one in 10 (14%) adults with mental health problems coped with the pressures of the pandemic via gaming.

The top benefits of streaming and gaming on our mental health include:​

  1. Time and space to relax: For some of us, gaming can be positive for wellbeing. Online gaming can also help us form social connections.  We might also use gaming as time for relaxation.
  2. Encouraging us to learn and test new skills like team-working or problem-solving​. Learning is one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and has been shown to enhance self-esteem, encourage social interaction and a more active life.
  3. Connecting us to others: ​building a positive gaming community with others can help us socialise and connect. For some of us, it can help us talk more honestly about how we are feeling and when we are having a difficult time. It can also provide peer support, open up conversations, and create a supportive community. 
  4. Giving space to express yourself: There are many ways we can express ourselves creatively online through streaming and gaming. Some of us find that communicating online is a useful way to test how we’re feeling before sharing with others. Gaming and streaming can also allow us to express our imagination.  

Ian O’Reilly, Head of Community & Events Fundraising at Mind, says:

“Through Stream for Mind, we want to call upon supporters to channel the power of streaming to fundraise and stand with us in the fight for mental health. So many of us aren’t getting the support we need and are left feeling totally alone. Whatever you choose to do for your Stream for Mind, the money you raise will make a real difference to those of us with mental health problems. It will support our Infoline, giving someone a voice to talk to when things are too much, keep our online community Side by Side open for anyone feeling isolated, and help us to keep pushing people in power to protect our rights and support our needs.

“Stream for Mind also provides a chance to explore how gaming and streaming might be able to help your own mental health and wellbeing. This activity can help us to relax, socialise and find peer support, as well as offering a way to keep our mind stimulated, occupied and challenged.”

Train2Game News Golden Joystick Awards Now Open

The Golden Joystick Awards is celebrating 50 years of video games by inviting the public to pick their favourite game and gaming hardware of all time.

The prestigious awards brand is now in its 39th year and is the world’s largest public-voted gaming awards event attracting millions of votes every year.

Voting opened yesterday at goldenjoysticks.com and closes at 3pm PST / 6pm EST / 11pm GMT on Friday, November 12.

Daniel Dawkins, Content Director, Games at event owner Future said: “We are delighted to celebrate 50 Years of Games in a landmark moment for the gaming industry. In November 1971, Computer Space* became the world’s first commercially playable arcade machine, birthing a $150bn industry from a 10-cent coin. We’re celebrating this milestone by inviting the public to vote for their Ultimate Game of All Time and Best Gaming Hardware of All Time. The results will be revealed in a truly special Golden Joystick Awards ceremony broadcast on Tuesday, November 23.

We assembled a diverse panel of industry luminaries to create a 20 game shortlist, considering factors such as critical reception, social impact, commercial success, legacy and influence, plus a measure of personal preference. We hope our shortlist represents the diversity and achievement of our 50-year-old industry, which – by definition – has been forced to exclude some truly exceptional games. You can find out more about the judging process on gamesradar.com and we can’t wait to find out which games and hardware the public will vote as their winners.”

Shortlisted games and hardware:

Ultimate Game of All Time Best Gaming Hardware of All Time
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Amiga 500
Dark Souls Atari 2600
Doom (1993) Commodore 64
Grand Theft Auto V Dreamcast
Half-Life 2 Game Boy
Halo: Combat Evolved Game Boy Advance
Metal Gear Solid GameCube
Minecraft Nintendo 64
Pac-Man Nintendo DS
Pokemon Go Nintendo Entertainment System
Portal PC
SimCity (1989) PlayStation
Street Fighter II PlayStation 2
Space Invaders PlayStation 4
Super Mario 64 Sega Mega Drive
Super Mario Bros. 3 Sega Saturn
Super Mario Kart Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Last of Us Wii
Tetris Xbox 360
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ZX Spectrum

The Golden Joystick Awards are presented by GamesRadar+. The winners will be revealed on Tuesday, November 23 via an online broadcast. In addition to the two special ’50 Years of Games’ awards the event will also feature 20 more awards for the best games of 2021 including ‘Ultimate Game of the Year’, ‘Studio of the Year’ and more.

For more information visit Golden Joystick Awards 2021 or follow us on Twitter and Facebook #GoldenJoystickAwards #50YearsOfGames.

Train2Game News Free Women In Games Virtual Event

The Women in Games Careers & Networking Expo will provide a unique opportunity for anyone to gain valuable insights into the many career options and pathways available in games and esports – and, importantly, put you in touch with studios and organisations who are currently hiring.

This full day of talks and networking is unmissable – whether you are planning your first steps in games and esports, or looking to take your career further forward.
 
A truly global event, the Women in Games Careers & Networking Expo will run from 8am to 10pm GMT to allow delegates from all over the world to attend virtually. A series of talks throughout the day will throw the spotlight on influential and inspirational women. They include:-
 
Alice Middleton, Programmer, The Multiplayer Guys
Donna Morrison, People & Culture Manager, Gram Games
Elizabeth Loverso, VP Product Development, Red Storm Entertainment
Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This
Heather Bales, Game Product Owner, Big Fish Games
Helen Fitzhugh, UEA Researcher into HR Practices, University of East Anglia
Hollie Bennett, Head of Influencers & Development, Frontier Developments
Jade Cavanagh, Events & Social Manager, London Esports
Kate Edwards, CEO, Geogrify
Steph Marcus, Lead UX/UI Designer, Sprung Studio
Sandra Castro, Journalist, Tan Grande Y Jugando
Sofia da Silva, Environment Artist, Gunzilla Games
 
The day has been designed to allow time for visiting our virtual booths in the Expo area, where the likes of Riot Games, Unity, Virtuos Games, Dovetail Games, Sports Interactive, StarStable, Cloud Imperium, AWS, G into Gaming, GINX TV, Grads In Games and more will be discussing opportunities within their organisations.
 
You can also meet up with friends and peers, old and new, using Hopin’s Networking feature. You can choose between chat roulette or speed meeting; you can meet for the first time and get in touch again using the video chat in a virtual one to one. Or look for your existing connections at the event and arrange to meet for longer catch-ups.
 
Don’t miss this must-attend event. Register for your free ticket today.