Train2Game news: Win the chance to become an Uncharted 3 character and visit Naughty Dog in Sony competition

Train2Game students have the chance to become a part of Uncharted 3 and experience Naughty Dog’s impressive in-game motion capture techniques first-hand thanks to a competition from Sony.

The Uncharted Audition gives you the chance to become a new multiplayer character for Uncharted 3, meet the Naughty Dog team and experience the motion capture techniques used to build the Sony game series.

To enter, you’ll need to submit a video audition that shows of your heroic abilities, with ten finalists competing at an event in L.A, the winner of which will become an Uncharted 3 character.

The competition launches on the Sony Facebook Page on Friday 9th March with entries open through to Sunday 18th March.

More for information check out the video presented by Nathan Drake himself below.

You can find out more about the motion-capture techniques used to create Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception here on The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, are you as good as Nathan Drake? Will you enter this unique competition?

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

Train2Game news: Two UK studios nominated for Writers Guild of America awards

Train2Game blog Brink imageTrain2Game students may be pleased to learn that two UK developed video games are among this year’s nominees for the annual Writers Guild of America Awards. As the name suggests, the awards are usually dominated by American games, but not this year.

Splash Damage Lead Writer Ed Stern is nominated for his work on Brink. You can find out how he wrote Brink in last November’s huge interview, right here on The Train2Game Blog. You can also listen to Stern speaking about games writing as part of a BAFTA panel here.

London based Rocksteady Studios win a nomination for their work on writing Batman: Arkham City, while Canadian studio Ubisoft Montreal is nominated for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

Mortal Kombat and Uncharted 3 complete the list of nominees for the awards which take place in Los Angeles on 19th February. The full list of nominations is below.

  • Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Story by Alexandre Amancio, Jean Guesdon, Corey May, Darby McDevitt; Multiplayer Story by Stéphane Blais, Richard Farrese, Jeffrey Yohalem; Lead Script Writer Darby McDevitt; Script Writers Richard Farrese, Nicholas Grimwood, Corey May, Jeffrey Yohalem; Greek and Turkish Ambient Dialogue Writer Vincenzo Beretta; Ubisoft
  • Batman: Arkham City, Lead Narrative Designer Paul Crocker; Story Written by Paul Dini, Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Brink, Lead Writer Edward Stern; Bethesda Softworks
  • Mortal Kombat, Story by John Vogel, Brian Chard, Dominic Cianciolo, Alexander Barrentine, Jon Greenberg; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Written by Amy Hennig; Sony Computer Entertainment

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the WGA nominations? What does it say about British games writing?

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


Train2Game news: Game Developers Choice Awards nominees revealed

Train2Game students can now see the finalists for the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the leading peer-based video game industry event celebrating the industry’s top games and developers.

Nominations this year are led by three studios and their games, each of which received five Choice Award nods, including Bethesda Game Studios’ long awaited open-world fantasy RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Valve’s cunning, charming sci-fi puzzle action title Portal 2.

Also nominated five times was newcomer Supergiant Games and its acclaimed downloadable action RPG Bastion, which saw nominations in four categories, plus one for the studio itself, for Best Debut.

Both Portal 2 and Skyrim were nominated for Game Of The Year as one of their nods. The other Game Of The Year nominees are Rocksteady Studios’s dark superhero game sequel Batman: Arkham City, From Software’s immersive hardcore RPG Dark Souls, and Eidos Montreal’s acclaimed franchise update Deus Ex: Human Revolution, also all multiple award-nominated.

Check out Train2Game’s huge interview with Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer Jim Swallow, here on the Train2Game blog.

Other titles with multiple nominations include Naughty Dog’s action adventure Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Team Bondi’s detective title L.A.Noire. A diverse set of overall nominees include titles with digital-physical crossover (Toys for Bob’s Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure – for Innovation), free-to-play elements to the fore (NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower – for Best Handheld/Mobile Game), and even no visual display at all (Die Gute Fabrik’s Johann Sebastian Joust – for Innovation).

Overall, the Game Developers Choice Awards are open to any video game, with no restrictions or payment for game submission, with open nominations from a plethora of game professionals helping to choose this year’s finalists. Winners will now be selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.

The complete list of nominees for the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are as follows:
Best Game Design
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

Innovation
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Toys For Bob)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)

Best Technology
Battlefield 3 (DICE)
L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)
Crysis 2 (Crytek Frankfurt/UK)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Tiny Tower (NimbleBit)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)
Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick)
Infinity Blade II (Chair Entertainment)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Capy Games/Superbrothers)

Best Audio
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (Media Molecule)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Dead Space 2 (Visceral Games)
Portal 2 (Valve)

Best Downloadable Game
Stacking (Double Fine)
From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Outland (Housemarque)
Frozen Synapse (Mode 7)

Best Narrative
Portal 2 (Valve)
The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)
Saints Row: The Third (Volition)

Best Debut 
Supergiant Games (Bastion)
Team Bondi (L.A. Noire)
Re-Logic (Terraria)
BioWare Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)

Best Visual Arts
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)
Rayman Origins (Ubisoft Montpellier)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Ignition Japan)
Battlefield 3 (DICE)

Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

In addition to the awards for individual games, the Game Developers Choice Awards committee will be announcing its Special Award recipients in the near future, including honourees for the Pioneer, Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Special Awards – as well as revealing the identity of this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards host.

Winners in all major categories will be honoured at the Game Developers Choice Awards show, attended by more than 3,000 of the world’s leading video game developers, and taking place Wednesday, March 7th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

In 2010, the Game Developers Choice Awards added a sister ceremony, the Game Developers Choice Online Awards which honors online and connected games, held during Austin’s GDC Online . Highlights from the 2011 ceremony, which awarded Trion Worlds’ Rift as Best New Online Game and Mojang’s Minecraft as Best Live Game, will be shown during the main Choice Awards ceremony in March.

For more information about the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit http://www.gamechoiceawards.com.  For information about the 2012 Game Developers Conference visit http://www.gdconf.com.

So Train2Game, which games do you think deserves to win awards at the Game Developers Choice Awards?

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

Train2Game news: Interesting Guardian feature on women in game development

Train2Game students should have a look at this article on the The Guardian website. Titled ‘Game changers: the women who make video games’ it features some of the best female game development talent out there and examines what can be done to get more women into the games industry.

Of course, there are plenty of women currently on Train2Game courses as we speak.

“I think young girls need to have their eyes opened to the different avenues open to them in games,” said games writer Rhianna Pratchett, who has worked on games including Heavenly Sword and Mirror’s Edge.

“They can be artists, animators, writers, designers, producers, programmers … We need to get them fired up about technology and find the Ada Lovelaces of the future. I think both the industry and the educational system have a role to play to achieve this. There are so many great female role-models within the games industry, but they rarely get the exposure they deserve.”  she added.

Rhianna Pratchett was part of BAFTA’s Games Writers Panel discussion, which recently became available to listen to via podcast. Find out how to listen to it, and see the rest of Train2Game’s BAFTA Games Writers Panel coverage, here on the Train2Game blog.

Other female game developers who feature in The Guardian article includes Deus Ex: Human Revolution co-writer Mary DeMarle, and Uncharted 3 Director Amy Hennig. The women in video games piece certainly does make interesting reading for Train2Game students.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the article? What do you think can be done to encourage more women into game development?

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

(Source: The Guardian)

Train2Game news: Uncharted 3 director on story vs. gameplay

Train2Game blog readers may see Uncharted 3 as one of the most impressive, story driven games on the PlayStation 3, but some out there criticise it for its linearity when compared with RPGs and other open titles.

Developer Naughty Dog has responded to those criticisms by stating the Uncharted series storyline is more important to them than gameplay.

“That’s not really our genre,” Uncharted 3 creative director Amy Hennig told Gametrailers. “We like those kind of games, as players and fans of other games, but for the action-adventure – especially the pulp-adventure genre – that doesn’t really make sense.”

“It’s about having a very clear, linear story arc that doesn’t allow for a lot of the dilution that is created by player choice in some cases. We always call it ‘wide linear’ – within the path that we give you you have a lot of choice within it, it’s not just hit this button, and this button, and this button.” she added.

Despite the tight nature of Uncharted 3’s story, the Train2Game blog has previously reported that Naughty Dog say they make up a lot of the game as they go along.

Train2Game students interested in how Uncharted 3’s script is written  and performed should check out this behind the scenes look on the Train2Game blog.

For more on games writing, check out the huge Train2Game blog interview with Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer James Swallow.

Away from game design, Naughty Dog believes the PlayStation 4 is needed for the next big leap in graphical improvements.

So Train2Game, what do you make of Naughty Dog’s comments on storyline being more important than gameplay for Uncharted 3?

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

[Source: Industry Gamers]

Train2Game news: Uncharted needs PS4 for next big improvements

Train2Game students are living in time when video games look better than ever, with the Uncharted series being some of the best looking titles of the lot.

And while the upcoming Uncharted 3 is graphically improved over its predecessor, developers Naughty Dog say the jump isn’t as big as it was between Uncharted 2 and the original. They believe a next generation console is needed in order to recreate this level of improvement.

Speaking to Spong, Game Director Justin Richmond revealed that changes to the Uncharted’s engine have been tweaks rather than massive upgrades.

“Uncharted 3 isn’t just an incremental update – we did change lots and lots of things – but graphically speaking, it’s not going to have the same gap, it was never going to happen.” he said.

And the Uncharted 3 Game Director believes we won’t see another huge jump on the PlayStation 3, hinting that we’ll only see a similar boost when Sony release a next-generation console.

“The way we made it, how much of the PS3’s power we were using… that huge gap that you saw between Uncharted 1 and 2 is the kind of thing that really only happens once per generation. We pushed it really hard.” said Richmond.

Train2Game students may be interested to find out that Naughty Dog only managed to make improvements to Uncharted 3 by re-writing the engine, and it’s something they’d prefer to do only once per console cycle.

“Uncharted 2 to 3 is still a jump, but it’s a narrower jump. And going forward, it depends on what we do. There are always ways to improve stuff, always ways we can pull out more stops… like changing optimisations, changing streaming animations, getting more polygons on screen, progressive mesh,” Richmond said.

“But I don’t think you’ll ever see that same jump again, at least on a PlayStation 3. There was just so much power left over in the PS3 when we made Uncharted 1, that we figured out how to use and really took it to town when developing Uncharted 2.” the Uncharted 3 Game Director concluded.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, the Uncharted 3 have a something of a “make it up as we go along” thing when it comes to game design.

Meanwhile, Train2Game students interested in how Uncharted 3’s script is written and performed should check out this behind the scenes look on the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Richmond’s comments? Do you believe a new console is needed in order to make another leap forward? Does that leap need to be made?

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

[Source: Spong]

Train2Game students can question Uncharted 3 devs this weekend

Train2Game students have the chance to question Uncharted 3 developers Naughty Dog and get their hands on the game at an exclusive event in London this Saturday.

The Naughty Dog team behind the Uncharted series will be hosting a developer session featuring a live walkthrough of the Desert Village section of the game.

It’s likely to give any Train2Game students who attend a great insight into the development of Uncharted 3 and what goes on behind the scenes at Naughty Dog.

Attendees will also get the chance to sample Uncharted 3’s single player campaign for the first time ever in the UK.

The Uncharted 3 developer session, a FREE event hosted by PlayStation Access, takes place this Saturday 15th October from 15:00-18:00 at The Union, 50 Greek Street, London, W1D 4EQ.

The venue will  apparently be transformed into the Pelican Inn in the upcoming Uncharted 3. There’s no need to register in advanced.

For more details about the Uncharted 3 developer session, Train2Game students should see the Facebook event page.

Earlier this month, the Train2Game reported that Uncharted 3’s lead designer said they made a lot of the game up as they went along!

Train2Game students can also check out this post that looks behind the scenes at Naughty Dog. Perhaps it’ll inspire someone to ask the Naughty Dog team a great question!

Uncharted 3 is released for PlayStation 3 next month.

So Train2Game, will you attend the Uncharted 3 developer session? What would you ask? And are you looking forward to the game?

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

Train2Game news: Uncharted 3 – ‘we do make up a lot of it as we go along’ reveals lead designer

Train2Game students will no doubt be familiar with the highly successful Uncharted series for PlayStation 3.

Now, with game number three on the horizon, Naughty Dog look to be pushing towards the release of yet another technically impressive and critically acclaimed game.

And while Train2Game students may expect the Uncharted 3 to have been meticulously planned before development starts, it appears it isn’t the case.

“We start with a short description, but then we do make up a lot of it as we go along. I think that’s very important.” Uncharted 3 Lead Game Designer Richard Lemarchand told GamesIndustry.biz during an in-depth interview.

He revealed that Uncharted 3 uses a storyboarding technique similar to Toy Story and Cars creators Pixar, which doesn’t begin with a script, but animation.

“I attended a story seminar by one of the story artists at Pixar last year, and he told us that Pixar make their films in the same way: they don’t have a script when they start; they do lots of brainstorming, and they work up ideas, and they do lots of drawing, and they start to make animatics, which are like little rough-cut movies.” said Lemarchand.

The Naughty Dog game designer explained that the story evolves from this system, which is flexible enough for things to change if needed.

“So they discover the key moments of their movies that way, and over time the detailed structure of what they’re making emerges.”

“It kind of appears by them working at it and working at it. That’s good, because it means you don’t over commit to something that might be wrong, or not entertaining or interesting enough.” he said.

Train2Game students interested in how Uncharted 3’s script is written  and performed should check out this behind the scenes look on the Train2Game blog.

Uncharted 3 for PlayStation 3 is set for release on 2nd November, with the Train2Game blog previously reporting that Sony believe it’ll ‘show a new level in 3D gaming’

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the production behind Uncharted 3? Are you surprised it isn’t precisely planned? And how do you go about planning to build games?

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

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

Train2Game news: 3D means we’re in “one of the most thrilling eras to be a gamer” say Sony

Train2Game students will probably be aware that Sony have a strong interested in 3D, with Uncharted 3 being seen as the game that could help bring the technology to the mainstream.

Resistance 3 is another big title that boasts 3D compatibility, which the Train2Game blog reported today debuted at No.4 in the UK Charts.

Sony believe that 3D will eventually enter gamers lives in a big way, but at the moment the technology is only just beginning to show what it’s capable of.

“Looking at the future of 3D, I think we’ve really only just begun to realize its potential as a creative medium.”  Sony Group Studio Director Mick Hocking told Industry Gamers.

“With the combination of 3D and motion control gaming with PlayStation Move, I think titles like Resistance 3 are just scratching the surface of what’s possible,” he argued.

And Hocking believes that the potential of 3D makes it a hugely exciting time to be a video game consumer.

“For those who may have been fans of some of the ‘virtual reality’ projects of the late 1980s and early 1990s, improvements in processing power and 3D screen resolution are creating virtual spaces that are more realistic than ever” he said.

“If you look at what PlayStation is doing now and the innovations that are being worked on in our Studios in 3D gaming, we’re living in one of the most thrilling eras to be a gamer,” the 3D enthusiast concluded.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, 3D technology was a huge part of Sony’s E3 press conference. And last month Sony revealed a futuristic 3D headset, which while impressive, at a cost of around £500 is probably a little too expensive for most gamers.

Sony have long been evangelists for 3D gaming, but the technology is also starting to gain interest from their rivals Microsoft. Indeed, the upcoming Halo Anniversary from 343 will feature 3D compatibility.

“With Halo: Anniversary you are able to play the game in stereoscopic 3D and really, the important thing for us was to add features that didn’t impact gameplay but enhanced it, and 3D was a good opportunity to do that”

“So, we were able to add 3D into the game and you can play 3D in re-mastered mode however much you like” Producer Dennis Ries told the Train2Game blog in a recent interview

So Train2Game, what do you think is the potential of 3D technology? Will it enter the gaming mainstream? Or does it feel like a gimmick to you?

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

[Source: Industry Gamers]

Train2Game E3 news: Sony offer the hardcore

PlayStation VitaWhile the Train2Game blog reported that Microsoft’s conference focused on Kinect and the more casual audience, Sony very much focused on the core audience.

The biggest news to come from the event – despite the being leaked beforehand – were details on Sony’s new handheld, the PlayStation Vita, previously known to Train2Game blog readers at the NGP.

The news was confirmed by Sony CEO and Exeuctive Vice President Kaz Hirai who not only revealed the official name for the PS Vita, but also that the handheld console will launch in time for Christmas.  Two models will be available, a Wi-Fi only version of PS Vita for €249, while a Wi-Fi and 3G version will retail for €299. There are no UK specific prices as of yet.

“PlayStation Vita will revolutionise the portable entertainment experience,” said Hirai. “It gives you the most complete entertainment package in the palm of your hands.”

Sony confirmed that there are ‘more than 80 titles’ in development for the PS Vita, with big name titles including Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, Bioshock and a handheld version of Street Fighter vs. Tekken. Train2Game students may very well be excited by the hardcore nature of games for Sony’s handheld.

The Sony E3 conference also saw the company push their other new technology: 3D Television and specifically 3D gaming.  The company revealed a (relatively when compared to others) low cost PlayStation branded 3D TV with a 24 inch monitor. The PlayStation TV will allow two players to see separate images on a full screen.

The PlayStation branded 3D TV will cost $499, with the price including cables, 3D glasses and Resistance 3.  Sony obviously have a vested interested in 3D – given that they produce the televisions! – but earlier this month proclaimed that Uncharted 3 will be a huge step towards gaming becoming mainstream, as reported by the Train2Game blog.

Bioshock Infinite will be PS Move compatible

Uncharted 3 was one of a number of PlayStation exclusive titles that was demonstrated during the Sony show.  God of War and Team Ico HD collections were dated for later this year, while Sly Cooper will also return after a seven year absence.

Sony’s conference however wasn’t completely free of motion control news, with PlayStation Move implementation being announced for a number of titles.  Perhaps most sensationally, Irrational Games KenLevine himself revealed that Bioshock: Infinite will be PlayStation Move compatible.

The development came after Levine had previously criticised motion control. Unfortunately, there are no details as of yet how Bioshock: Infinite will use PlayStation Move.

Sony also revealed that LittleBigPlanet 2 – a game that many Train2Game students should be familiar with – will receive ‘deeper integration’ for PlayStation Move later this year.  SCEA boss Jack Tretton said that the Move controller will be able to be used to both create and play LittleBigPlanet 2 levels, but didn’t reveal how this would be done.

And in other Sony news, it’s been revealed that in a world first, Eve-connected shooter Dust 514 will be a download only PlayStation 3 exclusive that’s free to play.  The Triple-A title will be connected to PC game Eve in real time and it’ll be supported by a microtransaction based system.

“The ability for Sony Computer Entertainment to partner with a developer like CCP, known for pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation in the MMO genre, holds tremendous potential for the PlayStation 3 community,” said SCEA SVP Rob Dyer.

“We anticipate that Dust 514 will transform the landscape across PlayStation 3 and the PC, ushering in a new era of shared cross platform gaming.”

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Sony conference? Are you pleased with the focus on the hardcore? Are you impressed by the PlayStation Vita or PlayStation monitor? How do you think Bioshock: Infinite will implement move? And are you interested by the free Dust 514?

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