Morning Gamers!

Our recent study has shown that gamers like to play our mobile games between 7 and 10am in the morning. This would make sense as the morning commute to the work or school is a pretty boring one, what better way to kill time by playing a quick mobile game to get the brain and fingers going.

On my morning commute to Dojit, passengers are mostly on their mobile phones, tablets or handheld gaming systems. Compared to my commute to college 5 years ago, people were only reading newspaper, books or some sort of literature.  This shows how mobile and handled devices are more prominent in people’s lives. And the rise of social games, how easy it is to complete a level or beat boss in just a few minutes and pick up later and continue your progress.

What are you doing in your morning commute?

Develop in Brighton Round Up.

Develop wrapped up on the 12th and you would say it was a success. With many key people from the industry attending and gathering here in the UK, giving information packed keynotes. We picked out a few stand out keynotes that were uploaded onto the develop Youtube page which we will imbed in this post.

Mark Cerny of Cerny Games and Sony. He talked early days of development of the Sony PlayStation, how they bought in small teams like Naughty Dog who only had small teams working on games, an artist and an developer in some cases. Giving these small teams and chance and now developing smash hit games like Uncharted and Last of Us.

 

Robert Morgan of Sony London talks about improving video game story, keeping the player emotionally attached. This personally was an issue with Last of US. The cutscenes and periods of gameplay that were not heavily focused on shooting were varying gripping. But as soon as the game started throwing hordes of enemies at you, it took you out the emotion and it really felt like a game.

 

Dragon Cancer was shown at develop conference. It was developed by Ryan Green and Josh Larson in America. It is a bout Ryan Green’s son Joel’s battle with cancer. It recreates and retells a moment in the battle in point and click type adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

PlayStation First Program.

Sony is really going after the hearts of developers. They made a good start in February when they announced the PS4 and said how developer friendly the PlayStation4 will be compared to its predecessor. Then at E3 they really went after the indie developers with gaming them space and time to be shown at the Sony’s press conference.

Now, Sony is going after up and coming developers at universities with its PlayStation First Program.  The PlayStation 4 will be added to the program and made available to educators.

This really shows Sony’s push to gain more developers for the PlayStation platform. Indie developers like Jonathan Blow spoke volumes about the developing for the platform and how Sony has made it easier and friendlier.

The head of Academic Development for SCEE, Maria Stukoff said, “The next generation of Independent developers are now in education, PlayStationFirst is at the helm enabling students to gain skills for the future and for PlayStation console development by providing access to real professional tools”

This is the perfect platform for the next generation of developers and Sony is backing it all the way.

Gamescom

This years Gamescom will kick off on 21st of August. Europe has got its games conference we’ve always wanted, yet not as glamorous and or has media frenzy as E3 in LA, it still will see the big three in industry show up.

Gamescom opens open to trade and the general public, which E3 has been restricted to developers and press only. This gives the public access to demos and coming soon games on the show floor.

What should you expect on the show floor? There will be playable versions of PS4, Xbox One and the Wii U. Rockstar could have a playable version of their much anticipated GTA 5 game that is due to be launched September 17.

Microsoft have announced they will be looking to hold a press conference, maybe to fix their shambolic showing at E3 and their Xbox One announcement. After the 180 on their DRM policy Microsoft will be looking to win over the gaming industry with you would hope some features and unannounced first party titles which Microsoft have been working.

Sony has promised Gamescom to be the Sony Vita show. There was a lack of focus on the Vita at E3 that left the adopters of the handheld a little disappointed. There was a mention of Walking Dead: 400 Days coming to the system, along with a new bundle but that was about it. Sony will look to announce titles for the Vita as the library of games is looking bleak. But the indie presence on the system is ever growing with more and more developers opting to develop for Sony system, games like Limbo and Hotline Miami being released.

Nintendo bailed on Gamescom last year’s show but this year they return, to show off no doubt its first party titles.

Other publishers attending this year include Bethesda, EA, Konami and others.

Be sure to check back on blogs about us talking about what went on at Gamescom.

Evolve in Brighton

The popular Evolve in Brighton conference returns on July 9th.

Evolve is part of the Develop in Brighton conference that has been hugely successful since it started in 2006, it is a conference for both indie and established developers. Learning about markets, new technology, platforms and game development.

The conference also covers a business, coding, game design, art and audio. Also a great place for people within the games industry to network

This year’s event will take place between July 9th and 11th at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, and will kick off with ‘Innovation and Change’ during the Evolve sessions on the first day.

There will be many industry greats speaking at the conference such as Mark Cerny the lead Architect at Sony for the PlayStation 4, will be talking about Developing into the Next Generation. Will be great to hear from Mark, as his vision for PlayStation 4 is one of the main reasons for the positive reaction from the media and games journalists.

David Solari Chief Marketing Officer of UK based Jagex Game Studio, will also be speaking at the conference. We will see a healthy number of UK based game’s studios in Brighton on Tuesday.

Be sure to check out the website for more information.

Share your HomeBear adventure and stories

Have you had awesome adventures with HomeBear?

We would like you to share your HomeBear adventure and stories! Take a screenshot on your device and post it on Facebook or send a tweet to HomeBear . You could see your story posted on our website and in a video on Youtube if all of you send your stories and pictures in!

To take an screen shot on iOS, press the home key and off key at the same time. Screen shot will be saved in your Picture Roll.

Android devices, hold the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time.

We are looking forward to your stories and adventures!

Next Generation of Developers.

We here at Dojit had the pleasure of having Joss Harris, 22, a young and upcoming developer from Worcester, working for us for two months

He has worked on Totally Milkshake, Home Bear and our new game coming soon, Chicken Strike.

We interviewed Joss on his experience’s working with dojit and asked about him about his ambitions, oh and some geeky questions some of you would like!

Where did you first hear about the Dojit games?

I first heard about the company when looking for game jobs online. I saw a Unity game developer internship advertised on Internwise, so I sent an application and was lucky enough to be invited to work at Dojit for 2 months!

Was working as a game developer always something you wanted to do?

I think I knew that I wanted to work in video games ever since I got the original playstation with crash bandicoot 3 when I was about 10 years old.

Has working with dojit helped you further your knowledge of game development? If so in what way?

Working at Dojit has definitely helped me further my knowledge, I feel like I’m a much more competent programmer now. It was great to be able to work full time in game development, doing it everyday really improved skills.

Did you play mobile games before joining dojit? If so which ones?

To be honest I haven’t played any mobile games recently as I still haven’t made the move to a smart phone! However I’m a big fan of plants vs zombies and spent a lot of time playing it on my iPod touch in the past.

Which game studio would you love to work for and why?

I’m a bit of a Nintendo fan boy so I’d love to work for their first party development team Intelligent Systems, as they’ve made some of my favourite games like paper mario and fire emblem. It would also mean living in Japan which would be very interesting.

What game are you playing at the moment?

Currently I’m spending a lot of time digging up fossils and selling turnips in Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS, it’s brilliant!

Mario or Sonic?

It has to be Mario!

PC or Consoles?

I prefer playing most games on my PC as I like to be able to push the graphics further than the current consoles can. That will probably change as soon as the next gen consoles are out and the graphics card in my PC is out classed.

iOS or Android?

After working on Chicken Strike I have found Android to be much easier to develop for than IOS, so for that reason I would have to say Android

David Bozward, Dojit’s CEO  “Chicken Strike has been an opportunity to get together students from Hertfordshire University who have created the graphics, Joss Harris and up and coming developer, to provide a learning environment for them to create a new title. Joss has done a fantastic job in getting the title ready in less than two months. “

We like to work with the next generation of developers, the industries future.

Video Games in the UK

The UK has a rich history in the Video game industry. We have successful game studios throughout the UK who have put out successful games like the Fable series at Lionhead Studios, the ever popular Football Manager management sim from Sports Interactive and Epic Monkey 2: The Power of Two from Blitz Game Studio. But there seems to be lack of awareness that the UK produces games or even has a game industry.

Philip Oliver of Games Blitz Studio has started a successful campaign to get the UK video game’s industry recognized called ‘Made in Creative UK’, and is already supported by some game studios which I am sure some people would not have recognized as a UK game studio. Studios such as Crytek and Codemasters are many of the supporters for this campaign.

Philip Oliver, CEO, Blitz Games Studios: “So few people are aware that some of their favorite games are made here in the UK, and that the UK games industry have a rich heritage and deserved reputation for originality, creativity and innovation. We want the world to recognize creative products made in the UK, especially video games, as a sign of quality.”

Anyone can take part of the campaign, as long as the 50% of the creative labour is in the UK.

The logo can be put on either the game studio’s website or their latest games, or even both to highly promote the campaign and make it more visible to the gamers and general audience.

It is also backed by government figures, Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture: “The UK has a proud history of video game production and it’s wonderful to see the industry exploring ways in which Britain’s contributions to the worldwide market can be both acknowledged and celebrated.”

We here at Dojit encourage other game companies to support this campaign, to help recognize the innovation and creativity the UK game’s industry brings to the market. Video game’s industry is ever growing and the UK does have a big part to play in this. By supporting Made in Creative UK we can bring awareness to the to the public UK but also around the world, and help spread the word and get recognized.

Founder of Rasberry PI, Eben Upton also backed this with the next generation of developers in mind “If people don’t appreciate the existence of a successful UK games industry, and the games created by it, how can we inspire the next generation of developers? Highlighting the wonderful games made in UK with this logo is a fantastic step in raising that awareness.“

Here’s a quote from the CEO of Dojit, David Bozward ” We have some real talent in the UK for making games and therefore very happy to support this and add it to all our games. The games industry is bigger than the film industry yet receives less recognition is a true measure of the issue Philip Oliver is trying to overcome.”

Lets all in the video game community and industry get behind this campaign, make video games in the UK recognised and appreciated.

Social Media in Gaming Industry

Questions is, does Social Media in Gaming Industry have any influence ? We earlier reported on DRM and its positives and negatives for the industry. Looks like the hashtag campaigned worked…

A few days ago, Microsoft announced that they are changes its DRM policies. In other words, doing a complete 180 on what they told us is the future of entertainment.

Don Mattrick the President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft took to their website to announce that they listened to you, us, about used games and how important it is to lend, share and resell games. They are also doing away with the Xbox One always needing to be online, enabling you to play your games offline in a remote location where there is no Internet connection. It will only require one time system setup when you first get your console. There was much rejoicing on the internet! Giantbomb.com got three time the more traffic then they did during the E3 press conferences, they were one of the first to break the news.

Something like his has never happened in the Video Game industry. Sony in 2005 had a massive backlash from the gaming community about the price of the PlayStation 3 being too high and questioning the importance of Blu Ray, but Sony stuck to its guns and slowly gained a loyal following, especially in Europe with PlayStation 3 outselling the Xbox 360.  But also Social media was not the beast it is at the moment at that time, Facebook was used in colleges and Twitter was not launched.

Do places like Twitter, Facebook and websites like NeoGaf and Reddit have a major influence on the gaming industry? Soon after Microsoft announced its strict DRM policy, a thread on on NeoGaf was created, urging people to tweet and retweet the ‘hash tag’ #PS4NoDRM urging Sony to not adopt the same polices. Come Sony E3 keynote, they announced they will not be supporting the same policies and the audience erupted with cheers.

Some people in the industry rejected that the hashtag campaign and the outrage on forums had influenced Microsoft back track, more blaming the lack of pre order’s compared to the PlayStation 4. But Adam Boyes the Head of Publisher Relations at Sony had said on the Giant Bomb’s E3 coverage that they had listen to the hashtag campaign and the forum thread on Neogaf.

We think at the end of the day consumer’s won. Microsoft’s Xbox One’s policy was very anti consumer, and would have hurt them in the long run as bulk of their player base would choose its competitor in PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Wii U which also does not adopt these policy.

Long live Social Media in Gaming Industry

 

Indie Games

First of all, what are ‘Indie Games’?  They are small groups or individual game developers without the financial support of a video game publisher to create independent games. They work from home, basement, rent rooms or if lucky rented office space.

Indie games started on PC back in the 1990’s, known as shareware. Which had small independent companies become huge leading game development studios such as Epic Games and id Software. Gamers were given the chance to try games like Demonsgate, before investing money in them and in return gave those companies exposure.

Fast forward to mid 2000’s with the launch of Steam and Xbox 360 we saw the number of indie games rise.  Games like Fez, Braid and many other games were released and were critically acclaimed, some even the best game’s in their genre. Thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade development tools and Adobe flash let developers create and sell their games on their desired platforms.

We will continue to see the rise of indie games in the next generation console’s, especially on the PlayStation 4. Sony took to the stage at E3 in Los Angeles and showcased a myriad of indie games. Games like Transistor from the makers of smash hit Bastion was shown off. They gave the developers time to be on stage and talk about their games and vision. This is rare publicity on the big stage at E3 been given to indie publishers, you would normally see a larger presence of indie developers at Penny Arcade Expo. This shows where the industry is going and the support companies like Sony, Valve and in the past Microsoft is giving to these up and coming developers.

Power to the Indies!