Train2Game News: Fable Legends announced

Fable LegendsAt Gamescom this week, Lionhead Studios have announced Fable Legends as an exclusive for the Xbox One.

Fable Legends unites the classic gameplay that players have come to love from the series with all of the next-generation capabilities of Xbox One. For the first time, grab your friends and go on adventures – up to four Heroes can cooperatively discover the quests and stories of Albion. Or, play the villain where you can mastermind the game in real time. “Fable Legends” takes advantage of the graphical processing power of Xbox One, and when coupled with Unreal Engine 4, delivers a rich and beautiful world.

You can play the game single player, with a party of three heroic AI companions that follow your lead through stories and adventures. Or you can play cooperatively with up to three friends and discover the game’s quests and content together.

Play whatever style you want, when you want. After all, you’re the Hero. And just what kind of Hero you choose to play is up to you. “Fable Legends” takes you back to a time when Albion is teeming with Heroes, so there’s bound to be one for you. Fearless warriors. Cunning tricksters. Masters of Will. Paragons of virtue. Heartless mercenaries. Intoxicated brawlers. Chicken chasers. They’re all here, and many more besides. You’ll be able to customize your abilities, alter your appearance, and advance your Hero by earning experience and finding new armour, weapons, and treasures.

Fable has always presented opportunities for mischief and villainy, and in “Fable Legends” Lionhead are going to offer a way to play the bad guy as never before.

The Villain player takes control of the many creatures, minions, traps, and environmental hazards that Heroes must overcome. Villain play combines elements of strategic decision making and tactical control. When those pitiful Heroes enter an area, you’ll choose which minions are sent into battle and where to place these creatures to maximize their effectiveness. Once the fight begins, you issue the orders for your creatures to execute: telling them where to go, which Hero to attack, and what abilities to use to ensure your evil plans come to fruition.

The game sounds like a fun different take on the Fable universe and it is the first confirmed game to be using Unreal 4.

Train2Game News: Over 1,600 developers attending Develop Conference

DevelopOn Tuesday 9 July, any Train2Game students lucky enough to attend the eight annual Develop Conference in Brighton will have the chance to interact with over 1,600 developers.

The three day conference will host over 90 sessions covering the whole spectrum of games development. 120 speakers will debate the biggest issues and trends in the industry, from Neil Brown’s session on PlayStation 4, to developments in touch-screen technology, discussions about Kickstarter and funding, global markets and even a session on cyber-psychology.

Lee Schuneman, studio head at Microsoft Lift London, will open the Evolve Conference on Tuesday before Mark Cerny, president of Cerny Games, will give the Develop Conference opening keynote entitled Changing the Game: Developing into the Next Generation. In total, there are nine tracks and seven keynotes over the three days.

Outside the conference, Develop will be hosting its biggest expo yet. Attendees can meet some of the biggest names in the industry including Dolby, Microsoft, Sony Computer Entertainment, Unity, Unreal Engine and Valve, as well as discovering some of the newest talent in the Develop Conference Indie Showcase.

Centrally located within the expo, the Indie Showcase highlights ten unpublished, independently-developed games selected by a judging panel of industry experts. Delegates have the chance to get hands on with the games and vote for their favourite through the People’s Choice vote.

“With only a week to go, we’re delighted with both the quantity and high quality of content we are offering our delegates,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events. “We’re lucky to have some fantastic keynotes and great sessions, which will offer invaluable information for every type of developer – from the smallest indies to established studios. I’m really looking forward to welcoming everyone down to Brighton next week.”

Full information on the conference sessions and speakers together with who is exhibiting at the expo can all be found on the new mobile event app, sponsored by Microsoft, or you can find the information on www.developconference.com.

Train2Game News: Epic want to shorten game development time with Unreal Engine 4

 Epic Games president Mike Capps wants their upcoming Unreal Engine 4 to make game development time much shorter.

“Our goal is to keep bringing budgets down for making games because we get more games and more game content that way. Iteration is really the key to good games.” he told GamesIndustry.biz in an extensive interview, when asked if the new engine will cut down the time needed for making games.

“You build something you think is going to be fun and you try it out and if it’s not, you just keep trying again. The faster that cycle works, the more likely you are to get something that’s really fun.” Capps continued, before discussing how Unreal Engine 3 changed things for game designers.

“For us, Kismet was a big step towards empowering level designers with Unreal Engine 3 to get them to be able to do some of that iteration themselves. They could see what it would be like to kick open the door and have two locust grunts come out from either side and play it themselves.” he said.

“The things we’re doing to empower content creators this time around, and to accelerate that iteration loop, are going to have a pretty profound impact on how fun games get quickly.” the Epic Games president added.

Train2Game recently partnered with Epic Games for Make Something Unreal Live, a contest that saw student teams building mobile games based on the Fighting Fantasy series using the Unreal Engine. There’s more on Make Something Unreal Live  on The Train2Game Blog, while you can keep up to date with the latest from Epic here.

What do you think about Epic Games aiming to make game development shorter with Unreal Engine 4?

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

Train2Game news: Next-gen ‘Samaritan’ visuals available on PC “right now” say Epic

The Samaritan Train2Game blog imageTrain2Game students have probably seen Epic Games’ impressive Samaritan tech demo by now, and with the quality graphics and animation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a game like that could only be achieved with a next gen console.

But according to Epic vice president Mark Rein, Samaritan like graphics are available “right now” if you happen to have access to a high spec PC.

“In fact, Unreal Development Kit has all the features that powered Samaritan – every single graphics feature you can do. We could have shown another 30 videos,” he told CVG.

“We have guys doing stuff on high end PCs that are just outside of the gaming space that are really pushing the envelope there. So that to us is pretty exciting – and you can do that now.”

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Unreal Engine 4 was shown to a select group of developers at GDC. But Rein added that there’s still plenty of life left in Unreal Engine 3.

“The UE4 stuff is very futuristic. UE3 is really the horse for this year.” he said.

Of course, Train2Game students are currently preparing to use Epic’s Unreal Engine for iOS to make games as part of Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show

For more about Epic Games, the Unreal Development Kit and that Samaritan tech demo,see The Train2Game Blog interview with Epic European Territory Manager Mike Gamble, who was speaking to us at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam.

What are your thoughts on Rein’s remarks on the graphical capibilities of the current and future Unreal Engine?

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

Train2Game interview: Adam Sherratt of Make Something Unreal Live team Commando Kiwi

Train2Game students are launching four new development studios in 2012 as part of Make Something Unreal Live,’ a competitive process designed to accelerate their careers by giving them the tools and resources needed to release games for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this spring.

The studios are Commando Kiwi, Derp Studios, Digital Mage and Indigo Jam.

The first titles released by the studios will be based on the Fighting Fantasy series of books created by Ian Livingston and Steve Jackson.

We caught up with Commando Kiwi’s Adam Sherratt to find out how the road to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show has gone so far. Listen via Train2Game Radio or read it here on The Train2Game Blog.

Hi Adam, tell us about your team for Make Something Unreal Live, Commando Kiwi.

We all met at the Train2Game & Epic Games game jam in November. We all worked very closely together then and we actually came up with the winning game, obviously, that’s why we’re in this competition! We’ve all grown very close, working closely together on these projects, and we’ve got a nice range of skill sets – we have somebody who is good at just about everything – and it’s really working for us.

How are you finding working with the Fighting Fantasy IP and the Unreal Engine?

The Fighting Fantasy is very exciting. I honestly hadn’t heard of it previous to this, but having read the book, I can see why the series is so popular and it was a very exciting experience to read the book and think ‘we’re going to make a game out of that.’ As for the Unreal Engine, it’s been incredibly helpful, it has little quirks, but I can honestly say, without using such an amazing technology, we wouldn’t be able to pull this off in the time we’ve got.

You’re making a third person game on IOS for Make Something Unreal Live, how is the process of that going? Building a game using UDK for iPad?

It’s a bit more difficult than making a traditional game for PC, there’s a lot of considerations you’ve got to have in watching the performance and that sort of thing; you’ve got to build things in a particular way. Obviously, being on a small screen means you’ve got to watch how it’s laid out. It’s been quite a challenging process but also quite rewarding, because it’s pushed us more to think about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and how it’ll work for the player.

So you’ve learned new things as you’ve gone along, in addition to using the knowledge you already have through Train2Game courses?

That’s right. As the lead programmer I use a lot of Unreal scripts, and the Train2Game course teaches you C++ which is very similar. I must say, this experience has been incredibly educational, I’ve gone away and learned lots of different things, and putting these into the game has been very exciting and a great learning experience.

What have been some of the landmarks so far in the development of your game?

This first landmark was just getting a character on the screen and running around! We have a very simple touch and move interface, and just getting that nailed so anybody could play it – a 10 year old, a 40 year old, whoever wants to play it – it’s so simple anyone could play it. Next key, milestone is we’ve recently got battles working; once again it’s a very simple interface which we can’t go into much about now, secrets, secrets! But once again, it’s a very simple Fighting Fantasy meets Final Fantasy style, very exciting times.

How have you found the transition from being a team at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam to being a fully functioning game development studio working on IOS with UDK?

It hasn’t been too bad really because we got on so well at the game jam, and we all became good friends then. The only challenge really is communicating via Skype and the internet. We have our own forum, Facebook page, Basecamp, Skype conferencing every week and we talk to each other over the phone. The only challenging part really is the distance, but we keep in close contact with one another and as a result we’ve been able to stay close together as a team just like we were at the game jam.

Distance won’t be a problem when you’re at The Gadget Show Live, how much are you looking forward to being part of Make Something Unreal live at The NEC, Birmingham?

It’s incredibly exciting. I mean, I’d heard of it beforehand, but I never thought I’d get the opportunity to compete at it. So I’m incredibly excited to show the judges and obviously the 125,000 people there what we can do.

For those who want to keep up to date with Commando Kiwi on the road to Make Something Unreal Live, what are the details of Facebook and Twitter?

You can like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/commkiwi or on Twitter @CommandoKiwi.

Great, thanks for your time Adam and good luck.

Thank you very much.

Keep up to date with the latest news from Make Something Unreal Live here on The Train2Game Blog.

 

Train2Game interview: Craig Moore of Train2Game & Epic Games Make Something Unreal Live team Digital Mage

Train2Game  students are launching four new development studios in 2012 as part of ‘Make Something Unreal Live,’ a competitive process designed to accelerate their careers by giving them the tools and resources needed to release games for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this spring.

The studios are Commando Kiwi, Derp Studios, Digital Mage and Indigo Jam.

The first titles released by the studios will be based on the Fighting Fantasy series of books created by Ian Livingston and Steve Jackson.

We caught up with Digital Mage’s Craig Moore to find out how the road to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show has gone so far. Listen via Train2Game Radio or read it here on The Train2Game Blog.

Hi Craig. Why did you decide to call your Make Something Unreal Live game development team Digital Mage?

Well, originally we were called Team Gandalf, and because we’re using the visage of a mage and everything like that, it just seemed a bit close to the bone in regards to licensing. So, we decided to change to something that was equally wizardy and call ourselves Digital Mage, which actually came about because we found a random name generator online and it happened that upon us. It kind of felt like fate.

And I guess it works well with the Fighting Fantasy IP you’re working on, can you tell us which book in particular your game is based on?

We’re working on Armies of Death.

And what genre is your game going to be?

Luckily for us, we’re making a strategy game, and we’re hoping to do something quite fun and interesting with it within what we can do with the engine itself.

How have you found using UDK on IOS and how are you finding making a strategy game out of it.

In all honesty we’re working against the grain, it feels at the moment. It’s a lot of hard work but hopefully it should be good when we get it all up and running, we’ve managed to make some quite nice headway with it and we’ve got some really good stuff and it’s looking promising. We should be able to deliver the game we want to deliver at the end of it, the game we set out to deliver when we first started planning it all out.

What’s going to make your game different?

There are a lot of strategy games in general out there – tower defence is a huge genre on IOS devices – but one on the Unreal Engine is a completely different story, that’s a bit of a rare beast.

What particular element of strategy are you going for in particular?

We’re doing what we like to call ‘Tower Offence’ where we’re changing the game upsidedown on its head and you’re no longer places all the towers, you’re doing the attacking.

How have you found the transition from being Team Gandalf at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, to being Digital Mage, a fully operative game development studio?

It’s a lot of hard work, we have to spend a lot of hours in the evening just communicating things that could be done very easily in face to face situations. But it’s slowly coming together as a lot of people in the team who’d never worked in teams before are getting the hang of it now and it’s all kind of slowly falling into place which is really good. It’s a credit to the team themselves who are coming together nicely and it’s working well.

What targets have you met recently that you’re particularly proud of?

As sad as it sounds, about 1 a.m. last night he had a massive breakthrough. We managed to get all of our units appearing in the game and with little animations. It was kind of a real nice penny drop moment where we thought we could actually do this, and come up with something that potentially could be really cool.

And you’re looking forward to many more of those moments on the road to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show?

Yeah, hopefully! Fingers crossed we should have lots of more of those and they should just get better and better with each turn.

And how much are you looking forward to the event itself, working on the game in front of potentially a large audience in Birmingham?

It should be fantastic. The size of the crew and the crowd don’t really phase me in any way, it’ll be really nice just to have the team together in one place after all this learning experience building up to it, but having all that power and working knowledge in just one place again will be a really, really nice feeling and it should help us mould even better as a team.

For those who want to find out more about Digital Mage, what are your online contact details for Facebook and Twitter?

They can look for us on Facebook, just search for Digital Mage, we should show up with a little black icon.  And on Twitter we’re @DigitalMage.

Great, thanks for time Craig and good luck.

Keep up to date with the latest news from Make Something Unreal Live here on The Train2Game Blog.

Train2Game news: Final Fantasy VII intro remade using Unreal Development Kit

Train2Game blog readers may have seen this post last week where Square Enix said a Final Fantasy VII remake would take too long to develop.

Final Fantasy VII is a game many have called to be remade for the current generation, and it seems one enthusiast has got fed up of waiting. They’ve used the Unreal Engine to show what a Final Fantasy VII remake could potentially look like.

You can see the video at the bottom of this Train2Game blog post.

The video shows the first section of Final Fantasy VII and is played from a first person perspective. While the animation and interaction is a little on the stuff side it offers an interesting glimpse and what could be.

Unfortunately, it’s likely this fan created game will be pulled offline by Square Enix in the near future. Still it’s an impressing showing of the variety of things that can be one with Epic’s Unreal engine.

Epic Games of course were heavily involved with last month’s Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, which saw four winning teams win places to the Make Something Unreal Contest at the The Gadget Show Live next year. The winning team will talk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit for Ios.

For more information on what that means for the winners, check out our interview with Epic Games Mike Gamble.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the fan make Final Fantasy VII remake?

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

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: Train2Game Artist & Animator Amanda Blatch

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live 2012 and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Art & Animation student Amanda Blatch (derelict-technica on the Train2Game forum) was one of those Train2Game students taking part. We had a quick chat with her during the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam to see how she was finding it.

Read it here, on the Train2Game Scribd, or listen via Train2Game radio

Find out more the about Train2Game & Epic Game Jam over at Unreal Insider.

We’re at about the half-way stage of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, how is it going?

It’s going quite well except for a few system crashes, but we’ve luckily regularly been saving so we haven’t lost too much, so yes, it’s going quite well. We will hopefully get it done in time.

So you’ve learned the importance of constantly backing things up with the system crashes, and was there a bit of a panic when that happened for the first time?

No, because I was going around at the beginning always saying save this, save that and I was getting on everyone’s nerves! So now everyone does it so I don’t bother them anymore.

The big question is have you actually slept yet, and if not, how are you finding it?

I haven’t slept yet, how many hours are we into this actually? I’ve lost track of time.

There’s about 28 hours to go.

I’ve done 36 hours in the past, I reckon I can still keep going because I’ve still got caffeine in my system!

What did you think about the Guy Fawkes theme when it was announced here at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam?

Should have seen it coming, really should have seen it coming. But luckily our team name fits the theme very well, which is Pryomation.

How did the first team meeting go after the theme was announced? What did you focus on, and was it a challenge to come up with something?

I think we’re all into similar sorts of games so it wasn’t much of an issue. We came up with a concept then about two hours in suddenly ideas changed, then we went back to our original concept seeing as how much we’d already developed it. We learned that keep to the idea we know best rather than doing something new and ruining everything.

There’s a big prize for the winners of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam as Mike Gamble announced in the opening ceremony, what would it mean to you if your team got to The Gadget Show Live next year?

A few people in my team weren’t aware of this prize and when they heard about it they were shocked for a long time afterwards, it drove them more into wanting to win this game jam. That’s why most of us have stayed up and haven’t slept yet and only two people crashed because they had to sleep.

How have you found the experience of game jamming, do you think it’s actually going to help you develop as an artist?

Yes it is. I’m learning quite a lot of new things from other people here because back at home you don’t have anyone else to talk to. Here you have help all the time and it’s really good and helpful.

It’s been a positive thing then, being able to meet up with 150 other Train2Game students?

I haven’t actually spoken to most of them yet because we’ve been so busy, only my team and a few others I knew from Eurogamer. I think we’re all set into winning this competition with such a huge prize that everyone wants their fame and fortune!

Judging by your experience so far, if you could do another Train2Game Game Jam in future, would you take the opportunity?

Hell yes! It’s really good fun.

Great, thanks for your time.

Thank you.

For more information go to www.train2game.com

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners “Over the moon”

Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners will wake up today in the knowledge that they’ve secured a place at ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show Live and have the opportunity to walk away with an UDK iOS development kit

The winning teams were announced after a panel of judges including Epic Games Mike Gamble, and industry veteran Jon Hare saw every game developed by Train2Game students in the 48 hour period.

“This is a landmark for us.” said Train2Game student Nick Stones, Team B team leader. “Everyone who has participated in the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, we can always say we have won a game jam and there’s nothing that can change that.”

“It’s such a fantastic opportunity and we’re definitely going to make every effort to make 100% of that. I’m over the moon at the moment. I came here, this is my first game jam, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s gone all in our favour.” he said immediately after winning the 48 hour event.

Train2Game student Craig Moore, team leader of team G also said that winning the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam and going onto The Gadget Show Live is a great reward for his team.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s such a hard thing to get into, but this should really help us get into careers” Moore added that he felt “A bit dumbstruck but absolutely over the moon!”

“Going to The Gadget Show Live is amazing, it’s a real win and I’m glad not for me, but the team, they’ve really earned it.” said Team A’s Jonny Robinson, after staying awake for almost the entire Train2Game & Epic Game Jam.

“I just love it when a plan comes together.” he added. “As crazy as that seems I’m over the moon”

“The Train2Game & Epic Game Jam has been fantastic, a little tiring, but fantastic.” said Train2Game course leader Tony Bickley.

“It’s been a very good event and I’m proud at what the Train2Game students have been able to achieve, and even more proud of their dedication and passion.”

The Train2Game & Epic Game Jam winners will take part in ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ in the Birmingham NEC at The Gadget Show Live in April next year.

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

Train2Game students can get behind the scenes at Epic with ‘Unreal Insider’

Train2Game students on all courses should be interested in this; Epic Games has set up a new blog that’ll give readers a behind the scenes look at the work that goes on at the studio.

The first ‘Unreal Insider’ blog post sees Vice President Mark Rein writing about their success with Gears of War 3 and a milestone number of Epic’s Unreal Development Kit.

“The Unreal Development Kit has been installed on over 1,000,000 unique machines. Yes, that’s ONE MILLION unique installs,” he said.

As reported by the Train2Game blog, it was only in June that the UDK passed 800,000 downloads.

“This isn’t a download count nor does it count users who installed a new version of UDK over an old version, or reinstalls” Rein continues. “This means there are more than one million different computers on to which the UDK has been installed”

“With this massive install base there are countless stories to tell about what those developers are doing with the technology.” the Epic Vice President added.

Of course, Train2Game students will get a chance to use the Unreal engine to create new stories at the Train2 Game & Epic Game Jam next month. For more information, see the official Train2Game & Epic Game Jam website.

Regular Train2Game blog readers will also be aware of the benefits of modding, perhaps using UDK, could bring.

At Eurogamer, Valve’s Chet Faliszek told the Train2Game blog that modding was a great way to get noticed, while  at Gamescom,  id Software’s Tim Willits also praised modding as a good way to get into the games industry.

Could Train2Game students find useful information on getting into the games industry on Epic’s blog in future? It’s a possibility…

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on this move by Epic? Will you be reading their blog?

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

[Source: Unreal Insider