Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to www.bafta.org/ygd.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 21.06.13

PS4It’s Friday which, of course, means it is time for the games industry news round up.

Mark Cerny, the lead system architect on Sony’s PlayStation 4 console, will deliver the conference keynote at Develop in Brighton, which takes place at the city’s Hilton Metropole from 9-11 July 2013. Cerny’s keynote, Changing the Game: Developing into the Next Generation, will see the industry legend take delegates through the journey he has been on to bring the console to reality, looking at the lessons learnt from previous console generations, the future vision for PS4 and how embracing the Indie community will have a key role in fulfilling that vision. To find out more about the event, go to http://www.developconference.com/

Gamers competing via the Xbox Tournaments with Virgin Gaming app on Xbox 360, now have a new way to win cash and show off their gaming skills. With the new update, available today, players can now enter buy-in tournaments and head-to-head challenges using their own money. Since launching nearly two months ago, Virgin Gaming has awarded Xbox 360 gamers nearly $100,000 in cash prizes, while also allowing players to seamlessly browse, enter, challenge, play in and track tournaments for their favourite games directly from Xbox Live. Gamers that are not already using the app can register for an account at http://virgingaming.com/xbox and download the app from Xbox Live.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey will be available for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita handheld systems in Europe on 21st June. A Nintendo DS version will follow this Autumn, as will a free-to-play online world, LEGO Legends of Chima Online. The new games all complement a line of branded products and TV content based on the LEGO Legends of Chima action packed world ruled by eight animal tribes that tells the classic story of good and evil, friendship and family.

Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 will be releasing on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PC/Steam, PlayStation Network, iPad, and for the first time on Android tablets next week. As with previous years Wizards of the Coast are rolling out the release of the game over two days across the myriad of platforms. The game will be released on June 25 for iTunes, Google Play and Amazon App Store. The following day will see the release on PC, Xbox Live and PSN. Associate Community Manager Sean Gibbons gives the community a first look at the new Sealed Campaign and deck editor in the upcoming Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers, which you can enjoy here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEQVZf8qxYo

Finally, some good news for those of you who are looking forward to the new Thief game. You won’t have to buy a next generation console for the game. Eidios Montreal has confirmed that the game will also be coming to Xbox360 and PS3. No word yet on a WiiU release. Senior Producer Stephane Roy acknowledges that the developers “have to be smart” in transferring the demands of the software to consoles at the end of their life cycle – suggesting that the breadth of the world may be scaled down to accommodate present-day hardware.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 10.05.13

WolfensteinIt is the end of the week so it is the time for the Train2Game industry news round up.

Bethesda Softworks announced a new title, Wolfenstein: The New Order, an action-adventure shooter slated for release in Q4 2013. The game is being developed by MachineGames, a studio comprised of seasoned developers known for creating compelling, critically-acclaimed story-driven games. Wolfenstein has been widely credited for helping establish and popularise the first-person shooter genre, and Wolfenstein: The New Order is a reimagining of this franchise – offering players a gripping and dramatic experience. The official announcement trailer can be seen at GameSpot.com. The game will be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox360 and next generation consoles.

Another new game release, Maxis and Electronic Arts have announced that The Sims 4 is currently in development at The Sims Studio for release on PC and Mac in 2014. The Sims 4 celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever in this single-player offline experience. The Sims 4 encourages players to personalize their world with new and intuitive tools while offering them the ability to effortlessly share their creativity with friends and fans. To stay up to date with the latest information you can visit www.thesims.com/thesims4

The Closed Beta phase for Infinite Crisis began on Wednesday. Select players chosen from the pool of registrants will get their first chance to dive into the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) PC game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by Turbine. You can still sign-up for the beta if you want to be part of the fun.

Until May 31, Pokémon Trainers across the country can look to the sky as not one, but two strains of the Mythical DNA Pokémon Deoxys make a rare return trip from outer space to players of both the Pokémon video games and official Trading Card Game (TCG). Players of Pokémon Black 2 or Pokémon White 2 can add Deoxys to their Pokédex in a special distribution event via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, while TCG players and collectors can find the new Pokémon TCG: Black & White — Plasma Freeze expansion, which includes the powerful Deoxys-EX card, at retail stores nationwide.

Finally, Warner Bros. and NetherRealm have unleashed a trailer showing Batgirl pummeling the Joker. This is for the announcement that Batgirl will be the next DLC character for Injustice: Gods Among Us. While there are a lot of Batman characters in Injustice already, if they’re going to include another “Bat” character, it’s only fitting they include Batgirl. Batgirl is available to buy as a standalone character for 400 MS points and £3.99 on PSN. No release date has been announced yet. You can view Batgirls beating on the Man that crippled her in the following trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq719Rp17B8

Train2Game News: New Batman Arkham game announced

Batman Arkham OriginsGood news for Train2Game Bat-Fans! WB Games have announced the next game in the Batman Arkham Universe.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, the next instalments of the blockbuster Batman: Arkham videogame franchise. Batman: Arkham Origins will be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 system, the Wii U system, and Windows PC.  Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate will be available for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system, and PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system.  Both titles are scheduled to release worldwide 25 October, 2013.

Developed by WB Games Montréal, Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, the first two critically acclaimed games of the franchise.  Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, the game showcases a young and unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, players will meet many important characters for the first time and forge key relationships.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a 2.5-D game developed by Armature Studio that brings the Batman Arkham experience for the first time to Nintendo and Sony handheld systems.  A companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, players can continue the storyline of the console version and discover more details of the Dark Knight’s past.

“Batman: Arkham is a huge triple-A videogame franchise and we are delighted to expand the experience with Batman: Arkham Origins,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  “WB Games Montréal has an incredibly talented team building upon Rocksteady’s award-winning gameplay and technology to deliver a deep, immersive, quality experience fans will love.”

“WB Games Montréal is honoured to have the opportunity to create Batman: Arkham Origins, a new chapter in this amazing franchise” said Reid Schneider, Vice President and Executive Producer, WB Games Montréal.  “We are huge fans of the franchise and are committed to creating an experience that offers players more of what they love, as well as the chance to play as a younger Batman within a fresh storyline and expanded world.”

Fans can visit www.batmanarkhamorigins.com for more information about the game.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 05.04.13

lucasartsIt is Friday so it is time for another Train2Game game industry news round up.

The saddest bit of news this week was that the new owners of LucasArts, Disney, has shut down the company. LucasArts were responsible for making many of the Star Wars licensed games as well as other games such as Monkey Island. A LucasFilm representative suggested that properties such as 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault could still find a home via a third party.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced that the Injustice: Gods Among Us game is now available on the App Store. Developed from the ground up by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, this free-to-play mobile game delivers stunning graphics and a completely unique fighting gameplay experience. The mobile game features a collectible card mechanic and engages players in 3-on-3 tag team combat that pits many of DC Comics most popular icons such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and more against one another. Fans who also own the forthcoming Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 versions will be able to unlock content in the console versions that will be available in the mobile game, and vice versa, by registering for a Warner Bros. ID (WBID) account and playing the game.

Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios are pleased to announce that on April 30, 2013, the free-to-play action MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter is heading into Open Beta, allowing millions of players unrestricted access to the game world. Neverwinter is Cryptic and Perfect World’s proof that Western free-to-play games, when built from the ground up, can compete with even the biggest boxed subscription titles. On April 30, the companies invite all gamers to put that claim to the test. There will be no character wipes or restricted access after the start of Open Beta. Players can still become Founders through Neverwinter’s Founder’s Pack Program. Benefits include exclusive access to Beta Weekend 4, permanent in-game items that are unique to Founders, early access to Open Beta, and VIP perks. To take advantage of these benefits and to gain exclusive access to Neverwinter’s Beta Weekend 4, players may visit: http://nw.perfectworld.com/founderspack/

The latest set of downloadable content for Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been confirmed for an April 16th launch on Xbox Live. The pack will include four new maps as well as a new zombie mode, available for 1200 Microsoft points or free to existing season pass holders. The four new maps are: Magma, a modern Japanese village featuring volcanic eruptions; Encore, taking place in the aftermath of a London music festival; Vertigo, a futuristic high rise building in India and Studio, a Hollywood movie back lot which describes itself as a “contemporary remake of Firing Range” which was found in the original Black Ops. By far the most intriguing addition to the newest DLC is the new Mob of the Dead mode, which sounds interesting enough to breathe life into the unspectacular collection of zombie content available currently. In it you play as a prohibition-era mobster locked up in Alcatraz whose attempts to escape are “foiled by the rise of the undead.”

Finally, creators of the hit game Castle Crashers, have released a new game. Blocks, Cats, Hats, Betrayal! This is how The Behemoth have described their new game, Battleblock Theatre. This newly released game, that is currently only for XBLA, is all about platforming, a “story of geometric proportions”, several modes of online gameplay and a massive amount of replayability. It has over 450 levels, hundreds of unlockables to find, over 300 prisoners to free and The Behemoth is calling it their largest game to date. The Behemoth said they are considering future ports, just like they did with Castle Crashers, but since they are a small studio it would take them quite some time to port if they do decide to bring the game to PC or PS3.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 29.03.13

Pokemon It is the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game games industry news round up!

In exciting news for Pokémon video game players across Europe, The Pokémon Company International announced the long-awaited dates and locations for the Pokémon European Video Game Championships. The English competition will be held in Birmingham on June 2. Players will battle for the chance to earn a Travel Award to the 2013 Pokémon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, this August. Visit www.pokemon.co.uk for more information.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Infinite Crisis, an all-new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Turbine, the award winning studio behind free-to-play online games including The Lord of the Rings Online. Infinite Crisis is a free-to-play game that features a deep roster of DC Comics characters and is scheduled for release in 2013 for the PC.

In further news from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, they announced two of its biggest mobile games, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix, are coming to Android, exclusively in the Amazon Appstore for Android. Expanded to and completely optimized for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD offers gamers with new ways to connect to their favorite franchises.

Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network have started their Spring Sales. Xbox Live’s sale runs from March 26 – April 2, and includes such titles as Dead Rising 2, Walking Dead, LA Noire, Max Payne 3, Resident Evil 6 and some of their movie offerings. The PSN kicked off its spring sale yesterday and it is running until April 9. In addition to the sale, it’s going to have a number of limited time offers, the first of which is Killzone HD, available till the April 29. Some of its games up for sale are Rayman 3 and Trine 2.

Electronic Arts, Sega, Sony, Codemasters and more have pledged support for the first Game QA & Localisation forum, taking place June 25-26 in London. The event will focus on best practices for test plans, QA budgeting and strategy with a mix of keynotes, sessions, panels and workgroups. Paradox, Outplay, Ganz, Plarium and Abertay University are also involved with the event. Full details can be found at the official site.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 22.03.13

StarCraft 2 It is the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game games industry news round up!

Today is the start of the Insomnia48 convention. Gamers are flocking to the gaming festival, for a weekend of gaming highlights including the ESET UK Masters StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm grand finals. With some of the best competitive gamers in the world vying for a share of the £10,000 prize pot, the tournament represents the pinnacle of the UK eSports scene. Jetting in from countries such as South Korea, Romania, Switzerland and Germany, the 12 gamers that have qualified over the last few weeks represent the cream of the international eSports crop and will provide some of the most exciting competitive StarCraft entertainment possible!

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced a Season Pass for the upcoming DC Comics fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us. The Injustice: Gods Among Us Season Pass grants purchasers access to four of the game’s upcoming downloadable characters for the price of three.

In further Injustice: Gods Among Us news, the developers are giving comic book and beat-‘em-up fans the opportunity to settle the age-old-question of “who will win?” in person at special Injustice: Gods Among Us tournaments being held in GAME stores around the UK during the month of April. The Injustice: Gods Among Us Tournament UK Final is in London and the International Final is in Paris.

Kickstarter has now had over $107 million dollars pledged to games with over $22 million of that just this year alone. Kickstarter cites the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter in February 2012 as the game project that really got everyone’s attention. While there are plenty of success stories on Kickstarter, it glosses over the fact that not all of these games are successfully produced. This proves that everyone can have trouble with developing a game, it is not an easy task and it shouldn’t be taken lightly!

Finally a different way to play some of your favourite PC games has surfaced. Peripheral company Stelulu Technologies have developed a controller that can use with your feet. The interestingly named, Stinky Board, has four buttons underneath that can be pressed when you lean your foot on them. The buttons can be mapped to any key on your keyboard and “in-game modifiers” are supported like Alt, Ctrl and Shift. That means up to 16 actions can performed and the device can automatically detect and load saved profiles. Additionally, the tension of the board can be adjusted and the board itself is made out of steel, aluminium and “heavy duty plastics” to withstand the kind of foot-related abuse you might expect when someone keeps dying over and over again in their favourite FPS.

Train2Game News: Injustice: Gods Among Us choose your winner!

Nightwing v Harley QuinnInjustice: Gods Among Us comes out in April and in the lead up to the game you get to vote for your favourite characters to win in game battles.

Injustice: Gods Among Us is an all-new game in development by award-winning NetherRealm Studios. The title debuts a bold new fighting game franchise that introduces a deep, original story featuring a large cast of favourite DC Comics icons such as Batman, Green Arrow, Cyborg, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and many others. Set in a world where the lines between good and evil are blurred, players will experience heroes and villains engaging in epic battles on a massive scale.

In last weeks battles Batman faced the super strong Bane and Wonder Woman faced the insanity of Harley Quinn. You can view the results of those battles below:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment reveal the next round of challengers in this week’s Injustice Battle Arena.

In week 2 of competition, The Flash enters the ring against Shazam in a battle of velocity versus mystic powers. Rounding out this week’s competition, the brilliant but merciless Lex Luthor challenges The Joker, the most psychopathic of supervillains.

View the latest Injustice Battle Arena videos, analyzing each contender’s strengths, offering celebrity commentary on the matches, and posing the question – who would win?


To cast your vote, visit: http://ema.io/MzAz

The victors of these two legendary match ups will be announced this Friday, with two new gameplay videos featuring the winning contenders.

For participating in these show-downs, fans in the UK will be rewarded with an Injustice avatar item when they register on the site and an exciting piece of DLC content when they first vote. Voice your opinion via Facebook, YouTube or Twitter and join the debate!