Train2Game & Epic Game Jam interview: The A-Team’s Jonny Robinson on winning

Train2Game & Epic Games gave Train2Game student teams the opportunity to win one of four places at The Gadget Show Live and compete for the chance to walk away with a fully licence Unreal Development Kit.  

Train2Game Game Designer Jonny Robinson is one of ‘The A-Team’ one of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam teams that’ll be heading to ‘Make Something Unreal Live’ at The Gadget Show. Train2Game caught up with him to find out how it felt to win, how the game jam went, and if he’d recommend taking part in one.

Read the interview here, on the Train2Game Scribd page, or listen on the Train2Game Audioboo site.

Congratulations Jonny, your team, the A-Team are one of the winners of the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, how does that make you feel?

I just love it when a plan comes together. [Laughs] As crazy as that seems I’m over the moon. I was saying to the team there’s a good chance we’re not going to win, but I said to every single one that we’re going to have as much fun as possible, we’re going to get along and we’re going to make friends. Don’t aim to win, aim to have as much fun as possible was my advice.

What does it mean to you to go onto The Gadget Show Live, to Make Something Unreal Live, and have the chance of walking away with a UDK development kit?

Nervous, maybe? I remember speaking to you earlier about this, saying I didn’t want to win because I was so petrified that there was a chance that I might win, there’s such pressure on you. Obviously as a team, the team felt the pressure in the 48 hours. But My God, you don’t realise that absolutely everyone who went to the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, the amount of pressure there was. Believe it or not our game actually broke an hour before it was going to be shown to the judges, and the team bundled together and managed to build it again which is amazing.

The pressure of going to The Gadget Show Live is amazing, it’s a real win and I’m glad not for me, but the team, they’ve really earned it. I’ve not really put any visual input into the actual UDK engine but more direction for them and they’ve gone with it and it’s worked so…win! And congratulations to The A-Team, not just me but everyone, they all deserved it.

Tell us a bit about your Guy Fawkes themed game

Believe it or not it took us 4 hours to decide on a theme for the game. The team wasn’t really getting along together because 10 people into one idea isn’t really a good idea in itself. The thing to be a good game designer is to take everybody’s opinion into account to make a game everybody wants to make and not just that one person. I’m not a power hungry person so I don’t really say ‘I want to make a game about me, or what I want’ I say ‘I want to make a game that’ll make you feel happy.’

This is a game we’ve all had input on and I said ‘We’ve got this vision, lets drive it’ And everybody’s been fantastic, the team are dead proud of themselves and I’m happy for them more than me if anything.

And they’ll need to go through the process of thinking of a game again with the genre you’ve picked for The Gadget Show Live. Tell us about the genre and your initial thoughts on it.

I kind of messed up the announcement at the presentation! I said ‘3 R D’ kind of announcing how tired I am. I meant 3rd person and I wish I’d cottoned on sooner! With 3rd Person Action I feel more confident a lot more than any of the others actually. I know FPS is the general given with the UDK engine. UDK I know, I’ve watched tonnes of tutorials. I want to give a shout out to two guys from 3D Buzz and The New Boston. These guys have really helped me, I spent hours learning their tutorials. I’ve learned the UDK engine within the space of 4 months. That’s a lot of hard work, I’ve been doing 3 hours of work a day to learn the engine, so yeah, it showed!

Despite your tiredness, you’ve enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to others?

Oh definitely. We got to this point where we had the pessimistic and the optimistic. I was kind of the optimistic, trying to push people forward. There were a few team members who were negative but that just balanced it out. All together we’ve made a great game development team. I’d recommend anybody going to a Game Jam, especially a Train2Game Game Jam.

Thanks for your time Jonny, and best of luck.

Thanks very much.



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