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Warhammer Skulls Showcase Recap – Xbox Wire

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Warhammer Skulls Festival Key Art


The ultimate festival of Warhammer video gaming returned to Xbox in a big way again this year. Introduced by Clive Standen, the legendary voice of Titus from the highly anticipated Space Marine 2, the Skulls Showcase started an exciting week of surprises with world premieres, exciting new announcements, and new content reveals for Xbox fans. Alongside this, the showcase heralded the start of huge deals with up to 90% off savings over on the Xbox and Windows Store during the event.

For Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass members, games such as Total War: Warhammer III, Battlesector, and Darktide all had major news announcements.

Also, being a festival, it’s an ideal time to have some Free Play Days for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. Vermintide 2, Chaosbane, and Mechanicus are all available to try for free this weekend. Meanwhile, over on the Windows 10 Store, there are more offers to be had on many more Warhammer games.

Let’s deep dive into the news, reveals, and updates for the Warhammer Skulls Festival to find out more:


Warhammer Skulls Showcase Recap


World premieres, announcements, and new content for Warhammer video games on Xbox and Windows 10 have been revealed. Find out more below and catch up on the Showcase here in case you missed it.


Warhammer on Game Pass News


A huge new cinematic comeback trailer for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, coming day one to Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, from Fatshark, which showcased new story, characters, artwork, and announced that award winning composer Jesper Kyd is returning to the “tide” franchise. Launching September 13, 2022 for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC, regular and Imperium editions are now available to pre-order.

Creative Assembly and Sega teased the release of Immortal Empires for Total War: Warhammer III, the long-awaited game mode combining the landmasses and armies of all three Total War: Warhammer games. Players will embark on the grandest campaign in strategy gaming with the release of the Immortal Empires beta for Total War: Warhammer III, arriving in Q3 2022. Total War: Warhammer III is available to play today with PC Game Pass and available for purchase on the Microsoft Store.

Finally, the reveal of a new horde mode for Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector by Slitherine as well as the announcement of the upcoming inclusion of Sisters of Battle as a playable faction DLC later this Autumn. Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector is currently available to play with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.


Big News and Game Premieres


The action didn’t stop there though, an exclusive behind the scenes look at the development of the highly anticipated Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 was unveiled. The love, care and meticulous detail being put into this game is incredibly evident and offers some exciting brand-new sneak peeks of how the game is coming together.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader from award winning Owlcat Games, the first ever Warhammer CRPG coming to Xbox. The game is a classic isometric experience with turn-based combat and diverse adventures that feature fateful decisions, non-linear stories, a strong and compelling companion cast, space exploration and much more.

Warhammer 40,000: Warpforge from Everguild (makers of The Horus Heresy: Legions), is a new digital CCG set in the 41st Millenium. The game will offer fast and brutal card battles in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and allow players to compete in draft and constructed modes, explore the rich lore of each army in single-player campaigns, or join an Alliance and compete in massive Alliance Wars.The game will be coming to Windows Store next year.

Warhammer 40,000: WarpforgeWarhammer 40,000: Warpforge

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun from Auroch Digital and Focus Entertainment coming to Xbox in 2023. With an awesome nostalgic blast from the pixel past – the veil was lifted on the bloody and frenetic homage to the iconic retro shooters of yore. Showing off gamplay footage – this single-player FPS delivers a sprite-based, hardcore experience of a Space Marine facing the foces of Chaos.

Warhammer 40,000: BoltgunWarhammer 40,000: Boltgun

Waaagh’ing onto our screens, Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef planted a flag for release on Orktober 20 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and showed off exciting new gameplay, featuring Thunderhawks, Imperial Knights, and Baneblades!

Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & TeefWarhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef

Finally, the showcase also had trailers for Warhammer: Vermintide 2 from Fatshark, revealing the Be’lakor Chaos Wastes Expansion which includes a new level, the Temple of Shadows, where the players get to take on all the full force of Be’lakor; and the reveal of two more playable teams in Nacon’s upcoming Blood Bowl 3, the Old World Alliance and Chaos Renegades.

Blood Bowl 3Blood Bowl 3

Phew! That’s just some of the highlights of the new awesome Warhammer content showcased and coming soon! Don’t forget, you can check it all out, and grab some great deals, on the dedicated Warhammer Skulls Festival landing page over on Xbox and Windows 10. Thanks for reading!

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Game Developers Find Their “Superpower” with Xbox Game Studios Game Camp

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Game Developers Find Their "Superpower" with Xbox Game Studios Game Camp

Xbox Game Studios Game Camp was founded in 2020 on the belief that extraordinary talent resides everywhere. The goal of the program is to enable people from traditionally marginalized communities and non-traditional backgrounds to realize their potential in the gaming industry and grow thriving games communities and industries in places all over the world.

In this Q&A series, we aim to highlight the stories of Game Camp Alumni with unique game creation journeys. Today, we will be chatting with the CEO & Creative Director of LemonJuice Game Studio Austin-Taylor Caldwell, about his experience at Game Camp and his current project, Beyond the Nightlight, a 3D horror adventure game that sheds light on mental health and addiction.


Tell us about yourself (if applicable: your team and the game you’re working on)?

My name is Austin-Taylor Caldwell. Like most other individuals in the gaming industry, I grew up playing video games. However, to think about making a career in gaming was laughable to me from a young age. I was raised in the poorest county in my state where resources and connections to the tech industry were extremely far and few. Fast forward to 2020, I decided to jump into the deep end and founded LemonJuice Game Studio to make cinematic games within the horror genre. From solo development to Game Camp, LemonJuice now stands at 20 members who are working closely together on our current title, Beyond the Nightlight. It is a 3D horror adventure game that centers around mental health and addiction in hopes to shine light on the topic and potentially help those struggling with these illnesses every day.

Why did you decide to center Beyond the Nightlight on mental health and addiction?

Beyond the Nightlight centers around the study that when we die our brains have seven minutes of activity left, during this time is when our life ‘flashes before our eyes.’ Our protagonist Jolene is in her final seven minutes and does not know it yet. She races through this odd world in a porcelain doll body, chased by Death, to reclaim her memory of what happened to her and how she can get a second chance at life.

I lost my mother in 2019 to drug addiction and that was probably the hardest point in my life. A year later, I found out from my therapist that I have both depression and anxiety…which didn’t help the situation. Beyond the Nightlight is built from real trauma and experiences from real people to show the players that do struggle with similar if not exact issues, that they’re not alone.

“Xbox Game Studios Game Camp taught me things I would have otherwise taken 10 years to learn. Game Camp helped me identify my “superpower” in development and focus on that instead of spreading myself thin.”

Austin-Taylor Caldwell, CEO & Creative Director of LemonJuice Game Studio

Walk us through your game creation journey before you attended Xbox Game Studios Game Camp?

Before Game Camp, I taught myself game design through Unreal Engine Documentation and a ton of YouTube. Working a full-time job made devoting time to learn game development difficult, but not impossible. I would wake up a couple hours early to get through a few lessons or add a new feature to my project, then go into work and use my lunch to research various systems or solve some problems I may have run into that morning. Returning home after work was when I really put in the work by staying up way later than I should to continue adding features to my project and learning everything I could to make a playable product.

What are some of the key takeaways you learned from your experience at Xbox Game Studios Game Camp?

Xbox Game Studios Game Camp taught me things I would have otherwise taken 10 years to learn. Game Camp helped me identify my “superpower” in development and focus on that instead of spreading myself thin trying to be distinguished in every department. That alone is invaluable, but more than that it also taught me how to manage a team, communicate and network to establish long lasting relationships, how to create and manage a development pipeline, and so much more. Game Camp truly changed my life.

What excites you about the game creation process?

Seeing the first prototype is a feeling words cannot describe. Spending days on days crafting this world and seeing it come to life is enthralling. Directing that is extremely fun to me and seeing others get inspired and watching their eyes light up over a new idea they propose is truly what makes game development so beautiful.

What are some unique challenges your dev teams overcame? Were there any tools/services that helped overcome this?

The biggest challenge we faced was switching our 2D project from Unity to the 3D project it is now within Unreal Engine. Having to rebuild the code in a different language took a bit to get off the ground, but Unreal Engine Documentation helped us as a team get our bearings together and now, we are back up on the ground and sprinting!

Image containing the 5 prototyped characters.

Tell us about the tools you are using for game development and why.

We are utilizing Unreal Engine 5 and Quixel Megascans for Beyond the Nightlight . We decided to work within Unreal Engine 5 as the amount of tools provided free of cost truly tip the scales on what we can accomplish. Plus, having Megascans that we can use with ease and easily import into Unreal Engine is amazing for painting a very detailed and immersive environment.

Can you tell us about your experience working with an Xbox Game Studios mentor and what you learned from them about the game creation process?

Working with our mentor, Rosa Dachtler, was a great experience. She was extremely helpful and always available to help in any way she could. Particularly, she guided and supported us as we made an extreme switch in production with only 2 weeks of production time left. She taught us how to build a powerful narrative around action-packed gameplay and how departments can better communicate with each other throughout the design process.”

Now that you’ve attended Xbox Game Studios Game Camp, what’s next for LemonJuice?

Game Camp readied LemonJuice with the tools and knowledge needed to dive headfirst into the industry. We are currently in the final stages of wrapping up our prototype for Beyond the Nightlight. We intend to bring it to publishers so LemonJuice as a collective can work on this project full time and be equipped with the necessary tools to make it as beautiful as we have envisioned. I have always dreamed big, and it is still my dream and goal for my company to become a 1st or 2nd party studio for Xbox Game Studios.


To learn more about Xbox Game Studios Game Camp visit xbox.com/gamecamp.



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