Train2Game News Interview with resident Iron Man


In recent weeks Train2Game has been documenting Sheldon Gilman’s pursuit to create the ultimate Iron Man suit.

He’s working on a collection of costumes and hopes to create a pair of Iron Man costumes for next year’s MCM Expo.

This week Train2Game caught up with Sheldon to hear more about the man inside the costume, including his professional and personal ambitions. 

Please tell us about yourself?
“My name is Sheldon Gilman, I am 35 and currently live in a small village called Redbourn in Hertfordshire with my wife and one year old daughter. I was originally born in Jamaica and moved to England with my parents when I was six months old. We lived in south London till I was seven then moved to Luton and now I live in Redbourn with my Wife and daughter.”

“I should also mention it was my very patient, loving and understanding wife who initially got me interested in cosplay and is constantly having to dodge Iron Man parts and tools that are all over the living room.” 

What cosplay does your wife enjoy, do you have photos of you both in cosplay?
I haven’t quite convinced Parveen to dress up yet but that’s soon to change as she’s told me she “MAY” consider dressing as Pocahontas next May. 

What is your regular job?
“I work in the IT department at Aldwyck Housing Group. A housing association.”

How much does the suit cost to create?
“Well I’ve never kept an accurate tally of how much it cost but my last suit was in the region of £200. This current suit, so far has cost me around £400 – £450 and there’s still more things I need to buy like electronics components and paint. However, when it’s completed, I expect it to have cost me £700 – £800.”

Would you ever sell a suit and if so, how much would one cost to buy?
“I definitely would sell my suits. I’d sell them in whole or in part (i.e. just the helmet) Prices would depend on detail. For a raw suit in foam, no paint, animatronics or electronics I’d say around £600 for a fibreglass suit all painted with full animatronics and electronics £1500.”

When will your latest suit be finished?
“I have set my finish date for May next year because I want both the Iron man Mk 20 and the War Machine to be completed for the MCM Expo in London where myself and a few others visit twice a year.”

Do you have a photo in the suit you at MCM Expo last year?
“I attached a pic of me with Rob Ledsom at MCM a few years back. I have to admit I haven’t worn this suit to MCM Expo time. I have also attached a pic of me in my Assassins Creed/ Jango Fett mash-up Costume.”



What does your daughter understand of what you are doing?
“My Daughter Inara is very curious little monkey and likes to be involved in whatever everyone else is doing. My friends at Armour up have made her first costume to wear at her fancy dress party later this month.”


What do you have planned in the future?
“I plan on getting a large shed built in my back garden this summer so I can create more costumes. I have many in mind like Sam Wilson aka The Falcon from Captain America – The winter Soldier, Heimdall from Thor, Batman – Arkham Knight Armour, Jager Pilot Suits from Pacific Rim and some crossovers too like Iron C3PO and Iron Tron. I will most definitely need help with some of these so I will be working with my younger brother and a very good friend of mine who is starting her own company called Armour Up.”

Would you see costume design as a future career?
“Very much so! The course I’m doing is useful, in that it’s showing me design techniques that speed up my design process greatly. However, as I am pretty much a one-man-band, production would be slow. I’m currently working on Iron Man mark 20 and War Machine simultaneously, and hope to have them finished by May 2016. I also have a Heimdall costume to make by May 2016 so I’m already a very busy bee.”

Which course are you studying with Train2Game?
“I am studying Games Artist and Animator.”

How are you finding the Train2Game course?
“The course is great! I actually started learning 3D animation on my own, watching YouTube videos and playing about with the different options in 3DS max but I thought it was time I got a qualification in the industry. The flexibility of the course has allowed me to continue working full-time, take care of my daughter all whilst studying to change to a career that I’d love.”

What are your thoughts on T2G?
“Train2Game have been a godsend. Courses of this type are very hard to find, As I work full time to support my family, I cannot afford to take three years out to get a bachelor’s degree from a normal university and no other university in this country has a program where you can study 3D animation totally from home, in your own time and get a portfolio as well as a recognised qualification out of it.”

Can you tell me more about your friend’s venture, Armour Up, and how you will be involved?
“I am getting James and Serena to write a few lines about what they do for you, but just briefly, they are both cosplayers. Alongside Serena’s regular job, she is an awesome seamstress and is very good at making period clothing. James and I both work for the same housing association but he is also a part time actor.”

“At the moment we’re just exchanging creative and business ideas and sharing expertise as I know nothing when it comes to cloth and Serena is eager to learn how to use the harder materials. James is the brains behind the operations and has good business head on his shoulders. He’s almost finished putting the Armour Up website together. I’ll update with more shortly.”

Further details of Sheldon’s project will follow on the Train2Game blog
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Train2Game News BBC micro:bit


The BBC and partners today unveiled the BBC micro:bit – a pocket-sized, codeable computer that allows children to get creative with technology. In the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative for 30 years, up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free.

In the 1980s, the BBC Micro introduced many children to computing for the first time. Part of the BBC’s 2015 Make it Digital initiative, the BBC micro:bit builds on the legacy of the Micro for the digital age, and aims to inspire young people to get creative with digital; develop core skills in science, technology and engineering; and unleash a new generation of digital makers, inventors and pioneers.

The UK currently faces a critical skills shortage in the technology sector, and the BBC and our partners aim to help change that.

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC says: “Channelling the spirit of the Micro for the digital age, the BBC micro:bit will inspire a new generation in a defining moment for digital creativity here in the UK. All you need is your curiosity, creativity and imagination – we’ll provide the tools. This has the power to be transformative for the UK. The BBC is one of the few organisations in the world that could convene something on this scale, with such an unprecedented partnership at its core.”

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customise and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life. It measures 4cm by 5cm, will be available in a range of colours, and is designed to be fun and easy to use. Something simple can be coded in seconds – like lighting up its LEDs or displaying a pattern – with no prior knowledge of computing. All that’s needed is imagination and creativity.

The BBC micro:bit also connects to other devices, sensors, kits and objects, and is a great companion to Arduino, Galileo, Kano, littleBits and Raspberry Pi, acting as a spring-board to more complex learning.

Key features include:

    25 red LEDs to light up, flash messages, create games and invent digital stories

    Two programmable buttons activated when pressed. Use the micro:bit as a games controller. Pause or skip songs on a playlist.

    On-board motion detector or ‘accelerometer’ that can detect movement and tell other devices you’re on the go. Featured actions include shake, tilt and freefall. Turn the micro:bit into a spirit level. Light it up when something is moved. Use it for motion-activated games.

    A built-in compass or ‘magnetometer’ to sense which direction you’re facing, your movement in degrees, and where you are. Includes an in-built magnet, and can sense certain types of metal.

    Bluetooth Smart Technology to connect to the internet and interact with the world around you. Connect the micro:bit to other micro:bits, devices, kits, phones, tablets, cameras and everyday objects all around. Share creations or join forces to create multi-micro:bit masterpieces. Take a selfie. Pause a DVD or control your playlist. 

    Five Input and Output (I/O) rings to connect the micro:bit to devices or sensors using crocodile clips or 4mm banana plugs. Use the micro:bit to send commands to and from the rings, to power devices like robots and motors.

Each element of the BBC micro:bit is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website (available later in the summer at that can be accessed from a PC, tablet or mobile. Your personal area on the website will allow you to save and test your creations in a simulator before they are transferred to your micro:bit, and the available tools scale to be as complex as your ideas, imagination and skills require.

Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, says: “We happily give children paint brushes when they’re young, with no experience – it should be exactly the same with technology. The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own. It’s our most ambitious education initiative for 30 years. And as the micro:bit is able to connect to everything from mobile phones to plant pots and Raspberry Pis, this could be for the internet-of-things what the BBC Micro was to the British gaming industry.”

The micro:bit was first conceived by BBC Learning in 2012, and initially developed together with the BBC’s award-winning R&D department. The scale and scope of this unique initiative has only been made possible by an unprecedented collaboration between 29 international organisations, pioneering start-ups and transformative education organisations.

The BBC is the overall editorial and project lead for the micro:bit, coordinating the partnership, micro:bit development and delivery, learning resources and on-air and online inspiration for teachers, schools and makers across the UK.

Product partners include:

    ARM – providing mbed hardware, software development kits and compiler services
    Barclays – supporting overall product delivery and outreach activities
    element14 – sourcing components and managing the manufacturing
    Freescale – supplying the sensors and USB controllers
    Lancaster University – creating and writing the micro:bit runtime
    Microsoft – providing the TouchDevelop web-based programming tools and hosting service as well as teacher-training materials
    Nordic Semiconductor – supplying the main processor and enabled Bluetooth Smart
    Samsung – connecting the BBC micro:bit to phones and tablets, and developing the Android app
    ScienceScope – distributing to schools and developing the iOS app
    Technology Will Save Us – designing the shape, look and feel of the device
    The Wellcome Trust – providing learning opportunities for teachers and schools

Fundamental to the success of the BBC micro:bit, the BBC and partners will be working closely with teachers, educators and schools over the summer to ensure that resources, information and support are available in advance of micro:bit distribution this autumn, supporting the curriculum. BBC Learning will also provide resources including Live Lessons, getting started videos, projects and tutorials.

The BBC micro:bit will start to arrive in schools in late October, giving children a chance to settle into new schools, and teachers the opportunity to build this into lesson plans for the rest of the academic year.

The BBC micro:bit initiative aims to make a huge impact in 2015 with the BBC and its partners committed providing up to 1 million micro:bits before the end of the year. And it won’t stop there. The technical specifications for the device will be open-sourced, and the partnership plans to collectively develop a not-for-profit company to oversee and drive the micro:bit legacy. This will enable additional micro:bits to be made commercially available in the UK and internationally through various outlets in late 2015.


Train2Game News Biba taking mobile games outside


Biba, a developer of mobile augmented reality games and apps, and PlayPower, a leading provider of play, sport and recreation equipment, have partnered to bring digital and real world play together.

The companies are inspiring kids to get back outside by fusing digital games with active outdoor play through new Biba mobile apps and Biba-Activated playgrounds from PlayPower.

“Biba’s mobile games designed for outdoor play are just a breath of fresh air,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, former Bioware Founder and Biba’s Chairman of the Board. “PlayPower and Biba are creating a new category, an inventive way to blend our new media habits with the health benefits and joy of active outdoor play. I am inspired by the category as a game designer and father.”

Biba games ensure children use the phone not as a vehicle for abstraction, but as an intuitive, single-function interface.  In addition, the games are designed for ‘refereed play,’ keeping the phone predominantly within the parent’s hands, keeping kids safer, devices safer and providing parents an opportunity to have freeform fun with their kids.

“We want to change what screen time means,” said Matt Toner, President of Biba.  “Our games bring kids back outside and turn playgrounds into the ultimate destination for modern families to go for healthy, active fun.  Thanks to our partnership with PlayPower, we think we’ve blended the richest parts of mobile play with the unadulterated fun of jumping, swinging, sliding and playing outdoors.”

The storyline of Biba’s initial mobile games is simple:  Playgrounds are transformed into the wreckage of robot spacecrafts that have crashed on Earth, and players interact with their very own companion robot, which encourages the player to explore the playground through its whimsical eyes.  The games marry a colorful interface intended to foster the imaginations of kids ages 3-9 with a unique ‘embodied play’ game philosophy that encourages kids to actualize their gameplay with their bodies.  Fun and age-appropriate physical challenges are reinforced through points, high scores and badges that can be shared online and with friends.

Biba games will be optimized for use with ‘Biba-Activated’ playgrounds from PlayPower, where augmented reality technology will create deeper gameplay experiences.   Biba apps will provide information about the gameplay experiences available at each playground—enabling families to search and find their favorite playground destinations..  Some of the Biba games will work with playgrounds that aren’t Biba-Activated, since Biba games allow players to tag which types of playground equipment are available to them.

“Active outdoor play is essential to the development of healthy children.  Getting enough active outdoor play for their kids is a problem with which most modern parents are familiar.  The solution PlayPower has developed with Biba blends the technology-driven world that kids expect with the joyful outdoor fun that parents remember from their own childhood,” said Lynne Vandeveer, Chief Marketing Officer at PlayPower. “Parents’ concern for their children is justified by research that shows kids are spending too much time sitting still in front of a screen and not enough time outdoors.  We intend to change that by engaging modern kids on their own terms.”

Biba games will be coming to mobile devices later this year, at the same time that Biba-activated PlayPower playground equipment will be populating city parks across the country.

Train2Game News Winter Gaming Knitwear!

GAME-store-logoThe nights are growing longer, and the shops on every High Street have begun to play Noddy Holder, it’s nature’s way of telling you it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas attire before the Tinsilitis kicks in.

There’s nothing like a new item of clothing to bring up the elf-esteem and this Christmas, GAME is offering customers the chance to pull a cracker as it brings a touch of retro with a new range of gaming-themed jumpers and socks for those who want to indulge in a little festive geekery.

The range includes jumpers that even your Grandmother’s knitting skills couldn’t match with a span of iconic gaming themes; Playstation, Sonic & Robotnik, and Street Fighter are all available for £29.99 in store and online at The socks will please even the most ungrateful uncle at only £9.99, and with the same range of gaming themes and unique designs.

Charlotte Knight, Category Director at GAME says: “We know gamers eat, sleep, dream games and now they can wear them too… every stocking needs socks and these are the perfect gift for the gamer in your life.”

Train2Game News Eurogamer 2014 Video

Train2GameTrain2Game was at Eurogamer last month and we have put together a video from some of our students who were in attendance about there thoughts on the Train2Game course. Enjoy the video below

Train2Game News Play Games to help SpecialEffect

SpecialEffectSpecialEffect are hosting another Gameblast in February of 2015. This is your chance to play games and help people in need!

The gaming marathon weekend will take place from February 20 – 22 and the idea is that you play games for an extended length of time, whether it be 48 hours or 24 hours is entirely up to you, and get your friends, family and whoever else to sponsor you to do so.

This gaming marathon is entirely down to your self to decide what you can do. Do as much or as little as you want to and try and raise as much money as you possibly can to help SpecialEffect to raise money that will go towards supporting disabled gamers back in to the game.

Last February gamers raised an incredible £70,000 in GameBlast14, and every penny and cent went towards levelling the playing field for gamers with disabilities. This time SpecialEffect are aiming for £100,000, so they’re going to need all the help you can give!

If you want to find out some helpful tips and sign up for this event you can go to

Train2Game News GameLoading Rise of the Indies

GameLoadingGameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a feature documentary exploring the world of indie game developers – their craft, their games, their dreams, and how they have forever changed the landscape of games culture. The project is currently crowdfunding through Kickstarter to help complete post-production.

Filmmakers Lester Francois and Anna Brady have clocked over 100 hours of interviews with both high-profile and up-and-coming indie developers and industry figures from all over the world. The stories that feature in the documentary are only the tip of the iceberg, with the team currently offering an additional 23 videos on youtube, with more scheduled to be released regularly over the next few months. Popular videos include BitSummit in Kyoto, Dutch Game Garden and Mike Bithell – ‘Story and Gameplay’

The exclusive Member’s Section on their website features longer more in-depth interviews available to Backers. The member’s section is a great resource for indie devs and fans. Those wanting to be a member can do so by backing the kickstarter The Final Push.

GameLoading’s Kickstarter, which launched last week is on track to raise the $50,000 needed to fund post production. Featured on the kickstarter page is the new GameLoading trailer, which has been touching the hearts of audiences across the community. It offers a heartwarming and positive message about developer culture, despite the recent negativity in the industry.

GameLoading features interviews with Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), John Romero (Doom), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer), Alexander Bruce (Antichamber), Lucas Pope (Papers, Please), Richard Hofmeier (Cart Life), Phil Tibitoski (Octodad), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home), Christine Love (Analogue), Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone) and dozens more.

The film will demystify what goes into making a game, examine the processes of different studios and individuals, capture the excitement of industry events like PAX and GDC, ponder why we play and what success means, and explore where this art form has come from and where it may be going.

Train2Game News Eleven year old girl releases game

My Selfie SafariAspiring game developer, eleven year old, Maddie Beal is proud to announce the worldwide release and availability of her debut game, My Selfie Safari.

Available today as a FREE download on the iOS and Google Play digital app stores, this brilliantly designed debut title features John Maddie and her BFF on a Safari Adventure, requesting the aid of players to help Jesse The Giraffe keep his neck out of trouble by avoiding the clouds and flapping birds. You goal is to meet up with his Safari Friends, and if you need help, you can try on a pair of goggles, but use them sparingly, as only 10 are available (additional goggles obtainable through in-app upgrades).

Featuring 20 addictive levels, you can even congratulate yourself by posing for a selfie with your friend as levels are successfully completed. Maddie herself is stuck on level 14! Are you adventurous and talented enough to beat her in her own game?

My Selfie Safari began as a bonding opportunity with her dad, Dan Beal. He had just built a Minecraft server for her brother, Ben, and with this task complete, Maddie felt it was the perfect chance to spend some quality time with her dad. Inspired by her fascination and love for giraffes and self-portraits, My Selfie Safari blends gameplay mechanics from popular predecessors such as Flappy Bird and Defender, and adds its own personal touch to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Featuring an exciting Safari Adventure, crisp colorful graphics, intuitive controls, and 20 challenging levels of fun, My Selfie Safari is a great debut title from Maddie Beal, whom at the age of only 11 undoubtedly has a promising career ahead of her.

Train2Game News Vote for SpecialEffect

SpecialEffectIn the games industry? If so, SpecialEffect need your help! They have been selected in the vote for the fantastic, grant making, games industry charity GamesAid.

Last year they made an amazing donation of £52,000 to SpecialEffect to help them meet their growing demand to help amazing young people like Ben who is now rocking Minecraft, FIFA and many other games!

SpecialEffect are in the fortunate position to once again be amongst the charities nominated for GamesAid support but your help is needed to secure a grant. All you need to do is vote at the link below.

SpecialEffect is by no means the biggest cause in the list of nominees so every vote counts.

If you work in the industry then please do visit the link below and consider a vote for SpecialEffect. Current members have to email their choice of charity and user name to GamesAid and new members can register for FREE and cast their vote.

You can view the story of Ben in the heart warming video below. SpecialEffect have helped Ben and many others like him to experience the pleasure of gaming as much as we all do.

Train2Game student studio has created Apps that are taking web based radio station into the future

Breeze Radio

Independent Train2Game student studio Derp Studios has been working with Breeze Radio to create Apps that will safeguard the radio station’s future distribution for years to come.

Successful digital radio station Breeze Radio drafted in the young team of Developers to handle creating its Apps. Breeze Radio has been taking steps to make sure it’s global network of listeners can be reached, as technology continues to develop in the ever changing radio broadcast sector.

Derp Studios were tasked with taking Breeze Radio to the next level of distribution before it arrives, creating Apps that will work alongside its digital distribution channels that will work for mobile and reach every corner of the globe. The apps have now been created and the station is ready for the next steps in its successful development, thanks to the team at Derp Studios.

Andy, setup Breeze Radio when he returned from active service previously of the Royal Engineers. He was working with other stations but found that regulations to make the stations more commercially successful were preventing him from delivering the radio he wanted to. He found that radio was no longer beneficial to the listeners and it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, there was too many adverts and not enough music. He wanted to play music people wanted to hear, not what the major labels were forcing people to listen to so they can make millions selling music.

With Andy’s background in the military and living abroad, he knew what the services and x pat communities wanted to hear. Using digital radio he could reach these communities. He planned to give them good radio without the countless adverts and lack of music variety. He wanted to play a selection of music people wanted to hear, not based on marketing demographics but on quality music that everyone would like. He started Breeze radio and found they actually paid more to keep going because they actually played more music than others so had to pay more royalties.

Breeze is now listened to in 128 countries worldwide with 6million listeners tuning in every week. The radio station has ditched the snobby and old fashioned AM/FM broadcasting model and now uses multiple online channels to handle Breeze’s distribution. This is not only cost affective but reaches a global audience, replacing the traditional radio model and overtaking traditional broadcast channels. Digital is also a better platform for receiving accurate data of listeners, rather than the outdated existing audience monitoring techniques.

But there is still one place web based radio is not the dominant broadcast channel; in the car. But that’s where Derp Studios fits in, it has created Android and Windows 8 Apps which mean Breeze can reach every area of the globe. In the near future you’ll be able to use these Apps to tune into Breeze in your car wherever you are in the world, through the 4G network. This will not only help Breeze reach its existing listeners wherever they are, it will also open up the entire world to the delights of Breeze Radio.

As well as building a successful station for all to enjoy Andy has not stopped at that. Breeze Radio now sell digital radios on the site with all profits going to charities across the globe that help with Autism awareness and childhood cancer.

Chris Ledger, Managing Director, Derp Studios: “It’s great to work with Breeze as we agree with their ethos of reaching people with a product that they want. With Breeze’s huge success we’re really pleased they chose us to safeguard them for the future.”


Andy: “It didn’t cost an arm and a leg but the end product is great. The Derp Studios team made a simple solution for a complicated problem. We’re now safely ready to continue to grow our listenership into the future. It’s not about the money for us, we do it for the love of the music and Derp Studios understood that.”

You can find out more about Train2Game, Breeze Radio and Derp Studios at these links