Train2Game News: Fastest selling XBLA Game

State of DecayThe official Xbox blog has specified that State of Decay is the “fastest selling original game ever” on Xbox Live Arcade.

The open world Zombie game from Undead Labs has sold over five hundred thousand copies on the Xbox Live arcade store to date.

Taking you beyond the initial panic of a Zombie apocalypse, and beyond the first weeks of the crisis, State of Decay is the embodiment of the “What if?” zombie apocalypse scenario. The world is now your oyster…a shiny oyster that happens to be filled with zombies. This game lets you fulfil your plans of what would I do if the worst happened?

According to Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain, there is a future for the series. “We’re laying plans for the future of State of Decay right now,” he said.

“There’s an incredibly sophisticated simulation engine driving the world of State of Decay – we call it FateEngine – and it gives s a platform to do much more with the game. For a start, I can tell you we’re working on a sandbox mode designed to be a pure survival simulation.”

The game is currently 1600 Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Arcade store but the game is currently in development for PC.

State of Decay, The Last Of Us and The Walking Dead proves that Zombie games are still popular but, for how much longer?

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 31.05.13

Son of NorIt’s the end of the week so it is time for the Games Industry news round up!

Son Of Nor developers stillalive studios have today released a brand new video detailing how final gameplay will look and function. stillalive studios are also thrilled to announce support for the Oculus Rift device! Gamers will be able to immerse themselves in the lore and adventure of Son of Nor deeper than ever before by using this hugely exciting virtual reality device in game. You can enjoy the final video, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wR3HrvRzSc

Video Games: The Movie has passed its Kickstarter goal – with nineteen days still to run. With an impressive pitch and reams of interviews with industry luminaries already recorded, the project has passed its goal easily – with over six hundred generous backers contributing over $71,000 at the time of publishing. The funding requested originally was set to be put towards post-production costs, including editing, the film’s musical score, and costs of purchasing licensed archived video footage. With the sixty thousand dollar question answered emphatically, Mediajuice has announced stretch goals for the movie: should it reach $80k, the film will include “celebrity voiceover narration”; $100k will allow the producers to purchase rights to “popular songs”; $120k will allow a musical score by “a famous band and/or composer” to feature in the film. You can enjoy the Kickstarter promo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTfYyIR9yMI&feature=player_embedded

After failing to find a publisher for Whore of the Orient the team behind LA Noire have found a new studio, Intuitive Game Studios, in Australia, and hopes to stem the tide of talent exodus heading to Canada or the like. Design lead Alex Carlyle and storyboard artist Kelly Baigent are the founders but no word on what game they’ll be working on, but it will be a new IP. The kind of tech in LA Noire, and Whore of the Orient was going to take advantage of, is now well out of their reach, but it’ll be interesting to see what the guys behind it can think up.

Critically acclaimed puzzle platformer, Limbo, is being release on PS Vita next week. Playdead CEO and co-founder Dino Patti said in a post on the PS Blog: “As we approach the third anniversary of Limbo, the game is finally ready for handheld devices.” The puzzle platformer was released on Xbox Live Arcade in July 2010, and remained an exclusive on the system until it released for PS3 a year later. Playdead said in 2012 that it doesn’t expect its next game to see the light of day for “at least two years”.

Finally the tiniest teaser to set the gaming universe a buzz, at an exclusive press conference in San Francisco, Razer will unveil the bold new vision designed to transform the gaming experience, forever. You can enjoy the teaser trailer for this new vision, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbqwf7SrK7Q

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: Minecraft Builds its way to the top

More people are playing Minecraft on Xbox Live Arcade than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or FIFA 13.

The latest Microsoft Live activity chart shows Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition at the top for the first time, rsing ahead of acclaimed retail games Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and FIFA 13. The Call of Duty games have been at the top of the chart for much of the past four years.

It is another impressive milestone for Minecraft. Earlier this month, developer 4J Studios revealed it had sold over four million copies becoming the best-selling XBLA game ever, beating titles such as Trials, Trials Evolution and Castle Crashers.

Other games Minecraft is more popular than are Call of Duty: Black Ops, Borderlands 2, Halo: Reach, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Interestingly GTA IV is still in the top twenty and it is nice to see the free-to-play title, Happy Wars, in at eleven.

Microsoft’s Live Activity chart is based on unique users – that is, game playing while connected to Xbox Live. You can see the top twenty below:

  • 1. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
  • 2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • 3. FIFA 13
  • 4. Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • 5. Borderlands 2
  • 6. Halo: Reach
  • 7. Battlefield 3
  • 8. Modern Warfare 2
  • 9. Madden NFL 13
  • 10. NBA 2K13
  • 11. Happy Wars
  • 12. Skyrim
  • 13. Gears of War 3
  • 14. RESIDENT EVIL 6
  • 15. GTA IV
  • 16. FIFA 12
  • 17. Forza Motorsport 4
  • 18. Dishonored
  • 19. EA SPORTS NHL13
  • 20. Halo 3

As you’d expect, Minecraft is also the top Arcade title, ahead of The Walking Dead, Sonic Adventure 2 and Trials Evolution.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 10.5.12

The OnLive console is not dead according to CEO Charles Jablonski and UK general manager Bruce Grove. The new plan is all about forming partnerships to provide OnLive’s service, instead of relying on PCs and its own console.

The Volus race has come to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer with the new DLC, The Retaliation Pack. The comic relief character has been put in to the online game play to show the ever expanding war according to BioWare’s Chris Schanche. The new pack also sees the return of The Collectors to battle against.

Earlier this week it was announced that Windows 8 will primarily use real world currency over Microsoft points. This had the games world speculating that the Xbox Live Arcade was going to start phasing out MS points. Microsoft have announced this is not the case. XBLA will still use the previous points system.

Rovio and LucasArts have teamed up in an interesting combination to create Angry Birds Star Wars. The game will see the birds dressed as the main Star Wars protagonists and the pigs are going to be dressed as Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. The levels will be famous Star Wars locations such as Hoth and Tattooine. The game is being released November 8 for iOS.

IGN have brought their application to Xbox in the UK. The app is already available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. The app offers content, shows and access to its pro-gaming league.

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook has now surpassed one billion users. Since Facebook’s formation in 2004, it has seen more than 140 billion friend connections made, 219 billion photos uploaded, and 1.13 trillion likes. Facebook’s director of developer products said around a quarter of its active user base, about 230 million people, play games on the site in a month. He also noted that Facebook has more than 130 apps.

A one-man company, Cryptic Sea, has created a game called A New Zero. The game has no animation and only uses physics for any movement in the first person shooter. In addition, visuals are also procedurally generated, chopping Zero’s total size below a single megabyte. You can download the game from Cryptic Sea’s website.

Train2Game News: Microsoft have announced their Eurogamer line up

Microsoft have announced their line up for Eurogamer. They will demonstrate the games they have been working on through out the year.

The games that Microsoft have announced are Halo 4 Infinity multiplayer, Forza Horizon, Fable: The Journey, Gears of War: Judgment and Dance Central 3. Xbox LIVE Arcade and entertainment will all be available for visitors to sample on the show floor.

In addition, Gears of War: Judgment is playable for the first time in the UK, with the new multiplayer mode OverRun available for fans to try.

Franchise development director Frank O’Connor from 343 Industries will open the dev sessions at midday on Thursday 27th September with a presentation of Halo 4. At 4pm on Friday 28th September Ralph Fulton from Playground Games will introduce Forza Horizon to attendees.

Eurogamer Managing Director Rupert Loman said “Microsoft Studios’ line-up for the Eurogamer Expo is one of the strongest offerings from any publisher.

“We’re thrilled to offer so many heavyweight titles for gamers to play before release.”

In addition a Halo 4 partnership with Mountain Dew Energy will also come to life with the Mountain Dew Crew fuelling gamers and keeping energy levels up across the four days.

Train2Game will also have their yearly stand at Eurogamer. You will be able to talk to tutors and ask any questions you may have.

 

Train2Game News: Robert Boyd wants more opportunities for Xbox indie games

Robert Boyd believes Xbox should help their indie market by allowing high rated games to break through to Xbox Live Arcade.

It can be difficult to become a developer for XBLA. Taking inspiration from Steams Greenlight, Robert Boyd of Zeboyd believes Microsoft could do more for indie developers.

In his opinion the Xbox Live Indie Games could be a proving ground for new titles, with the best among them being sent forward to be released on XBLA. Similar to Steams Greenlight community rating system.

Boyd said “I’d like to see XBLIG kind of merge into XBLA”

“Keep Indie Games free to everyone but if you have a really good game, you could submit it to Microsoft for it to be upgraded to an XBLA title. Right now, becoming an XBLA developer is fairly difficult for a small team, so reducing the barrier of entry to XBLA could only help Microsoft, I think.”

If Microsoft take this on board any student who decides to create their own game can be spurred on by the thought that if their game is successful it will reach an even bigger audience. That can only be good for everyone involved.

It can be very hard to stand out in the Indie market. Any developer who makes a good game that is enjoyed by players should be rewarded for it.