Train2Game News LiquidSky 2.0

LiquidSky — a first-of-its-kind cloud-based platform that delivers a high-quality gaming experience almost anywhere, anytime on Windows, Android, Mac and Linux devices — is thrilled to announce LiquidSky 2.0. 
This major platform update adds numerous new features, dramatic gains to LiquidSky’s already outstanding performance and introduces an all-new ad-supported free model.

“We are thrilled to announce LiquidSky 2.0, ushering in a cloud-based gaming revolution,” said Ian McLoughlin, LiquidSky’s co-founder and CEO. “LiquidSky 2.0 smashes the status quo for gamers worldwide, eliminating the dependence on rapidly-obsolete gaming hardware. Now anyone – even gamers with lower-spec laptops and desktops not typically suitable for new release titles – can enjoy high-quality PC gaming nearly anywhere, anytime and on almost any device, and do so affordably or even for free.”

Key Features included in today’s LiquidSky 2.0 roll-out include:
    Support for Windows PC Devices

    New Pricing Plans (More SkyCredits for Lower Cost)

    Upgraded Gamer and Pro Performance Packages (Up to 4x Previous Performance)

    FREE Ad-Supported Plan

    Intuitive New User Interface

    Dramatic Latency Reduction
Android, Mac and Linux device support, along with the following key features, are planned for the coming months:

 

    Full DirectX 12 Support

    Full Support for USB 2.0+ PC Accessories

    SkyLounge Community Hub

    Performance Package Upgrade, Including 100 FPS Unlock
Gamer (60 SkyCredits/hour) and Pro (120 SkyCredits/hour) Performance Plans quadruple their previous horsepower— now powered by up to 4GB of GPU VRAM, 16GB of RAM and 6 vCPU Cores — to deliver high-quality 1080p gaming at up to 60+ FPS. In addition to enhanced Pay-As-You-Go and Monthly Subscription Plans that provide more SkyCredits for lower cost, LiquidSky 2.0 also introduces free high-performance PC gaming through its new ad-supported model.

The LiquidSky 2.0 client is available for download at LiquidSky.com, after which users can register for a new account or migrate their existing one. Existing members will be guided through a brief one-time account migration process. Paid members that migrate to one of the new paid plans will additionally receive a one-time boost of available SkyCredits.

Registrants for the Free Plan will be assigned a boarding group for access in stages based on beta server and early ad inventory availability. This approach ensures a higher quality of service for the users that already have access and provides an optimal gaming experience as LiquidSky scales up their servers and ad inventory globally. The Free Plan and boarding groups are currently only available for parts of North America and Western Europe, with the ability to earn free SkyCredits not guaranteed at this time.

Pay-As-You-Go or Monthly paid LiquidSky users will be granted immediate access to their new upgraded SkyComputer regardless of geographic location. However, for an optimal current experience it is recommended that users be within 310 miles (500 kilometers) of a LiquidSky data center and/or receive a ping of less than 35ms.

For more information on how to sign up, migrate accounts or test your ping in relation to the nearest LiquidSky data center, please visit http://kb.liquidsky.com.

Train2Game News New Windows 10 Microsoft Products

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It’s been an incredible few months for Microsoft. Since the launch of Windows 10 in July, we now have 110 million devices around the world running our new operating system. At an event in New York on 6th October, we announced the next chapter, unveiling a new era of Windows 10 devices from Microsoft.

Microsoft introduced a new Surface, Lumia and Band devices, as well as the latest developments from HoloLens and Xbox. They also announced the first ever laptop from Microsoft, the Surface Book.

Windows 10
Windows 10 is off to the fastest start in history – seeing upgrades at three times the rate of Windows 7 in the same period. With over 8 million business PCs already running Windows 10 as well, we’ve been so excited by the response from IT professionals and the public alike.

There have been more than 1.25 billion visits to the Windows Store too, signalling that people are enjoying everything the new store has to offer. With this huge interest, developers are seeing the benefits, meaning we are now attracting more and more universal Windows apps to Windows 10. Today Microsoft announced that Facebook will be building universal Windows apps for Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, and are excited to welcome new universal apps for Uber, Box, Candy Crush Soda Saga and many more.

New Windows 10 Devices from Microsoft
With Windows 10 already proving a hit, Microsoft are also excited to unveil a range of new devices designed to make the most of the new operating system and unlock new Windows 10 experiences.

Surface Book

Building on the companies reputation of reinventing new categories in hardware, they are introducing the new, ultimate laptop which brings together a powerful, high-performance laptop with accurate and responsive pen and touch support. Ultrathin, Surface Book comes with up to 12 hours of battery life, an impressive 6th Generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors and a 13.5 inch PixelSense Display which makes it not just beautiful to look at but natural and fluid to write on. The screen can also detach, so it can be used like a clipboard to sketch and take notes. UK pricing and availability will be confirmed soon.

Surface Pro 4

Microsoft has also introduced Surface Pro 4, the thinnest, lightest and most powerful tablet that can replace your laptop. Not only is it 30 per cent faster than Surface Pro 3, it’s quieter, runs cooler and is more efficient, with up to nine hours of battery life. At only 8.4mm thin, it also has a five million pixel screen, covering a 12.3 inch display which can be annotated on using a surface pen – complete with an eraser – which allows you to take screenshots and draw. Packed with new features, Surface Pro 4 enables everyone from students to professionals to get more done on the go. Starting at £859.99, the Surface Pro 4 is available in the UK for pre-order from 7th October and available for purchase from 12th November.

Lumia

Also announced were three new smartphones: the next generation Lumia 950 and 950 XL, the first Windows 10 Lumia phones, and the Lumia 550. With more people using multiple devices during the day, Windows 10 provides a consistent experience so users can enjoy a seamless transition from one device to the next. With the new Microsoft Display Dock accessory, users can now connect their phone to a monitor and use it like a desktop PC, with a keyboard and mouse. Lumia 950, which has a 5.2 inch screen, and 950 XL, which has a 5.7 inch screen, will also feature 4K video capture, a 20 megapixel camera and Windows Hello log-in. Lumia 550, Microsoft’s most affordable 4G smartphone running Windows 10, is for people who value affordability with uncompromised quality. Lumia 950 and 950 XL will become available in select markets in November, whilst the 550 will begin rolling out in select European markets in December.

Microsoft Band 2

The new Band can help you live healthier and achieve more. It features a new curved screen, a barometer and apps for email, text, running, biking, the gym and golf. It’s more comfortable than ever to wear and comes with a two-day battery life, allowing people to set wellness goals and track their progress. Starting at £199.99, Microsoft Band 2 is available for pre-order 7th October and available for purchase in the UK on 19th November.

HoloLens

The world’s first holographic computer, powered by Windows 10, allowing developers to mix holograms into their world. Whether it’s for education, design, healthcare or entertainment, HoloLens creates innovative experiences that are impossible on any other device or platform. Following an impressive demonstration in New York, they announced that we are inviting applications for the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition.

Xbox

The upcoming update bringing Windows 10 to Xbox One in November will provide the fastest and most social Xbox experience ever. Microsoft will also be launching backward compatibility so you can play Xbox 360 games on Xbox One for free as well as a host of exciting new games, making this Christmas one of the best lineups in Xbox release history.

Train2Game News Clan of the Cloud

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Clan Of The Cloud has today unveiled its new ‘platform agnostic’ CloudBuilder framework for any developer to incorporate social elements into their app, game or any program they are working on, whether for corporate content to social gaming.

The company is already partnered with and speaking to many indie game developers, medium sized studios and healthcare companies including Pastagames, The Game Bakers, Astraware & Advanced Mobile Applications.

The launch of this new version for the framework sees these libraries come out of Beta and phased into general release and can be accessed here:

https://account.clanofthecloud.com

Clan of Cloud is truly disrupting the social experience – with only one line of code you can add many features such as:

    Social Features – Chat, Twitter & Facebook sharing, Leaderboards, Challenges, Push Notifications, Offer Rewards/Gifts and more.

    Monetisation – IAP, Set your own virtual currency, view sales/ROI, Virtual items on the fly, Rewards & promotions all in real-time.

There’s also a full CRM system, which gives developers complete data collection & control per user in real-time including data export/bulk push notifications.

Whether you’re working on Mobile (Android, iPhone, BB, Windows Phone), web (HTML5) or desktop to third- party middleware including STEAM, Unity3D, Marmalade, all these features are available and cross pollinated seamlessly with all of these platforms.

The features the cloud-based framework offers would usually take developers a minimum of four months to create via dedicated programmers – Clan of the Cloud are already there.

The latest version of the framework is online from today via http://cloudbuilder.clanofthecloud.mobi/

Train2Game News Windows 10

MicrosoftMicrosoft Corp. on Tuesday unveiled its next Windows operating system, Windows 10, and gave a first look at an early technical preview for the PC available Oct. 1.

The announcement highlighted advancements designed for business, including an updated user experience and enhanced security and management capabilities. The company also introduced the Windows Insider Program, kicking off its largest-ever open collaborative development effort to change the way Windows is built and delivered to best meet the needs of customers. Program participants will receive the technical preview of Windows 10 and a steady stream of builds through the development cycle to use and give feedback on.

“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers, and we look forward to working together with our broader Windows community to bring Windows 10 to life in the months ahead.”

Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using — from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets — and what they’re doing with a consistent, familiar and compatible experience, enabling even greater productivity. Windows 10 will run across the broadest range of devices ever from the Internet of Things to enterprise datacenters worldwide. Microsoft is also delivering a converged application platform for developers on all devices with a unified app store. Developers will be able to write an application once and deploy it easily across multiple device types, making discovery, purchase and updating easier than ever for customers.

Windows 10 builds nearly everything that businesses need right into the core of the product — including enterprise-grade security, identity and information protection features — in ways that can reduce complexities and provide better experiences than other solutions. One area of advancement is in the work Microsoft has done with user identities to improve resistance to breach, theft or phishing. Windows 10 will also help advance data loss prevention by using containers and data separation at the application and file level, enabling protection that follows the data as it goes from a tablet or PC to a USB drive, email or the cloud.

Management and deployment have been simplified to help lower costs, including in-place upgrades from Windows 7 or Windows 8 that are focused on making device wipe-and-reload scenarios obsolete. Businesses will also have the flexibility to choose how quickly they adopt the latest innovations and influence continued improvements. In addition, organizations will be able to customize an app store specific to their needs and environment. The intent is an app store that will allow for volume app licensing, flexible distribution, and the ability for organizations to reclaim or reuse licenses when necessary.

The early technical preview of Windows 10 demonstrates new levels of flexibility, navigation and familiarity through the Windows experience. Features include these:

  • Expanded Start menu. The familiar Start menu is back, providing quick one-click access to the functions and files that people use most, and it includes a new space to personalize with favorite apps, programs, people and websites.
  • Apps that run in a window. Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing users to maximize, minimize and close with a click.
  • Snap enhancements. Working in multiple apps at once is easier and more intuitive with snap improvements. A new quadrant layout allows up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping, and it will even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
  • New Task view button. The new Task view button on the task bar enables one view for all open apps and files, allowing for quick switching and one-touch access to any desktop created.
  • Multiple desktops. Instead of too many apps and files overlapping on a single desktop, it’s easy to create and switch between distinct desktops for different purposes and projects — whether for work or personal use.

The introduction of the Windows Insider Program demonstrates Microsoft’s continued commitment to working closely with customers to help shape the future of Windows. Windows Insiders will be able to give feedback on early builds of the product throughout the development cycle. The program will include various ways for Windows Insiders to engage in a two-way dialogue with Microsoft, including a Windows Feedback app for sharing suggestions and issues and a Windows Technical Preview Forum for interacting with Microsoft engineers and fellow Insiders. More information on the Windows Insider Program and the technical preview can be found at http://preview.windows.com.

Train2Game News Marmalade SDK goes free

MarmaladeDevelopers will now be able to download the Marmalade SDK for free.

Marmalade Technologies has announced that a free license is now available for its flagship product, which enables studios to create games for multiple platforms, including iOS Android, Blackberry, Tizen and both Windows Phone and Windows Store using a single codebase.

Developers will also have access to other products, such as Marmalade Quick, Marmalade Web and Marmalade Juice, which helps them convent iOS projects to run natively on Android.

Meanwhile, developers with Marmalade’s Indie, Plus or Pro licences can now develop games for Windows and Mac, Roku and selected Smart TV platforms.

“Following feedback from our developer community, I’m delighted that we are now able to give all developers the world over the ability to experience the full power of the Marmalade SDK for free,” says CEO Harvey Elliott.

“We know from our community that maintaining native performance for apps across different platforms is a top priority, and now all developers can use a free version of the Marmalade SDK, meaning no compromise on performance whatever their platform and freeing them to concentrate on making fantastic apps and games.”

Source: Develop

Train2Game News: Unity Update includes new platform support

unity-logoThe Unity engine has just been updated to 4.2 and it now includes support for Windows Phones, Windows Store and Blackberry 10.

In Unity 4.2, all users of the free version of Unity can publish to any mobile platform they wish, including Windows Phone 8, Windows Store, iOS, Android or BlackBerry 10, without any additional charge.

In addition, Unity Pro users will be able to use the Windows Store Pro deployment option, which includes the Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store apps platforms, free of charge.

Unity Pro users will have access to advanced Unity features when deploying their iOS, Android or BlackBerry 10 projects by if they choose to purchase Unity iOS Pro, Android Pro or BlackBerry 10 Pro Add-On products from the Unity Store.

A host of other features have also been added to the game development engine.

In the graphics realm, there’s now OpenGL ES 3.0 support for Android and static and dynamic batching for shadow casters and shadow collector pass.

The editor now has integrated version control support for Perforce, and, crucially, splatform switching, player building and asset importing can be cancelled, bringing greater flexibility to the software. Tweaks has also been made to the shader and texture importers to reduce the time spent switch between them.

Looking to the mobile development side, deferred lighting is now a feature on both Android and iOS, and there have been a number of usability upgrades for both platforms.

There have been improvements to other areas of the tool too, and you can read more about those, as well as more details on the features mentioned above on Unity’s blog page which you can find here, http://blogs.unity3d.com/

The major change for the 4.2 update is support for the new platforms, which means the engine provider has effectively doubled its platform supports.

Train2Game News: Icey Monty visits Yippee! Entertainment

Icey Monty and Yippee! EntertainmentThis week the guys at Icey Monty had the privilege of heading over to Yippee! Entertainment as part of a Train2Game scheme to connect students with established games makers.

Yippee! Entertainment are the creators of Chimpact, the monkey-swinging title which hit number one on the Windows Store. Veterans of the UK’s gaming industry, members of the Yippee! team have worked on games such as: FIFA, Mario Artist Paint Studio, The Simpsons and The Rugrats.

The Train2Game student studio, made up of Lee Sainsbury, Nick Walker and John Esslemont, were taken on the visit to get an insight into the Yippee! team’s experiences as a start-up studio, take a look behind the scenes at Chimpact, see the team’s latest project in development and be given advice on video game design and development.

The visit

Icey Monty sat down with Steve Ruddy, Technical Director at Yippee! Entertainment, to discuss the tech they use for their titles. The Icey Monty boys were blown away by some of the things they were shown, and it really gave them an insight into how professional studios develop tech to manage time scales and repetitive tasks, and how to use tech to really polish a game.

They then met with Kevin Green, Lead Artist at Yippee! Entertainment. Icey Monty then discussed the importance of documentation, how to decide on the best design to proceed with and how to go about creating an interesting and innovative GUI. They learnt a lot about how to make the correct design decisions and talked about making an overall enjoyable title.

Icey Monty, were asked to show a short demonstration of Tamarex, their first title for mobile which is yet to be released. It was well received by the Yippee! Team and they got some great feedback on how to improve the game.

It was a pleasure for Icey Monty to meet the Yippee! team and get to see how a professional studio operates, to see what top mobile developers are currently working on. The students are incredibly grateful and wanted to thank Yippee! for giving up their time.

Special thanks to Lorraine Starr, Commercial Director at Yippee! Entertainment, for additionally giving the team a tour of media city and making sure they were well looked after.

Train2Game News: Chimpact in The Sun

Chimpact in The Sun

Earlier this year, Train2Game covered the story of the Windows 8 game, Chimpact. This morning the national paper, The Sun have reviewed and covered the same game.

The Sun ran the article this morning alongside a review for Sega’s Aliens: Colonial Marines. Chimpact was the second biggest review on the page with a huge rating of 4 out 5 where as Aliens: Colonial Marines only got 3 out of 5.

The review in The Sun says: “Though the iPhone and iPad, understandably have a stranglehold on the market, some games are actually better on other platforms. Chimpact is an example of that.”

The whole review was very positive and ended by saying: “Chimpact is mega-addictive, delivered with impressive graphics and spot-on gameplay.”

This is excellent news for anyone else thinking of developing for Windows 8 as it shows you can get recognition on the platform from some of the top news distributors.

It also shows the Train2Game blog keeps you one step ahead of the rest with us getting to this great game first!

If you want to find out more about the game you can go to www.chimpact.com

Train2Game News: Monkeytastic action on Windows 8

ChimpactTrain2Game has the pleasure of announcing an exciting new game coming to the Windows 8 and Windows mobile platform.

Chimpact, a brand new title which is taking the mobile market by storm is showing gamers and games developers what is possible on Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The Yippee! Entertainment team have created exclusive features for the latest version of the game, which highlight some of the unique tools developers can utilise when creating games for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Gamers will now be able to play through the game, with orientation flipping to increase enjoyment and playability. They can play the game on their desktop, tablet and mobile, with the game being synched across devices, and their current game status updated on Window’s new tile desktop layout. You can also share your game status with friends through: data in text, html and image file formats.

In the game you meet the lovable chimp, Chuck as he springs into action throughout the jungle in this one-touch control game that’s filled with mischief and mayhem. The aim of the game is to collect bunches of bananas in each stage, as well as exploring every nook and cranny to find the hidden gems but beware the nasty jungle critters lurking where you least expect them.

You get the pleasure of discovering secret paths, avoiding obstacles and time your jumps to perfection in this gorgeous jungle adventure. Grab the bonus bananas on your way to enable special abilities in the shop, unlock new costumes and characters to play as one of the other characters in Chuck’s adorable family.

Game features

  • Simple, one-touch gameplay with universal appeal
  • Stunning visuals and character design
  • Four worlds to explore with 12 levels each.
  • Two different game modes to beat: Gem Quest and Totem Trail
  • Bananas and hidden gems to collect and achievements to unlock
  • Eight abilities and four cool chimps to unlock
  • Over 150 challenge medallions to earn
  • Available on all major mobile platforms
  • Exclusive content now available on Windows 8

Exclusive features to Windows 8 and Windows Phone

  • Dynamic landscape or portrait view – for Win8 tablets we still allow portrait mode as well as the new landscape mode and respond to orientation events to dynamically switch between them
  • Landscape mode – reworked levels, camera + rendering to support landscape view for desktop
  • Live tile update showing current game progress
  • Roaming save data – save data stored on cloud (if using Microsoft account) and automatically synced across laptop and tablet devices
  • Share current game status via the share charm (over 60 images, 50 different states – share data in text, html and image files formats)
  • Access in game options any time via Settings charm

As well as the new features Yippee! Entertainment will also be rolling out a PR push for the title on Windows 8 and Windows Mobile, including a major competition and other significant PR initiatives to be announced in the near future.

Mike Delves, Managing Director, Yippee! Entertainment said: “Adapting Chimpact for Windows 8 and Windows Phone we’ve started to see what is possible on these platforms, of particular interest is the ability to seamlessly sync across devices. This multiple platform gaming is going to be the future and Windows 8 and Windows Phone make developing for this market incredible simple. Gamers can now play Chimpact on mobile, tablet or desktop devices, and it’s all saved and backed up with cloud support from Microsoft.”

You can find out more about the game by going to www.chimpact.com

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 09.01.13

Xerneas and YvetalThe first news in this weeks Train2Game Mid-Week round up is a follow up to the Pokémon news from yesterday. The two legendary creatures that are briefly seen in the trailer have been named. They are Xerneas and Yveltal.

Video games had the highest total amount pledged out of all other categories on Kickstarter last year.  561,574 backers made 1.3 pledges totaling $83 million. Out of 2,796 video game projects launched, 911 were funded. Video games had almost double the amount of pledges than Films, the second most successful category. They make up nearly a quarter of Kickstarter’s total backers and total money pledged.

Valve have given the first glimpses of  what could be, the media named Steam Box. Code-named “Piston”, the system is still in a development stage and Xi3Coporation states the system will be “optimized for computer game play on large HD televisions”. The specifications have not been released yet, but will be built on Xi3′s Modular Computer chassis which is grapefruit sized, and will support both Steam and their recently released Big Picture mode.

Following the demise of City Of Heroes last year, Missing Worlds Media have decided to create a new superhero MMO, currently named Project Phoenix. Their aim is to build a Superhero game from the ground up and take what was successful from past games and build on it with new technology. If you are missing the super being you created, this could be one to keep an eye on.

Microsoft have sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date. The figure represents cumulative sales of Windows 8 including upgrades and sales to original equipment manufacturers for licensing. Windows 8 sales are following a similar trajectory to that seen with Windows 7, according to Windows chief marketing and financial officer Tami Reller. Microsoft also said that over 100 million apps were downloaded from the Windows Store in the two months following the digital distribution platform’s launch with Windows 8 and Windows RT. There are now more than 1,700 certified systems for Windows 8 and Windows RT.