Train2Game & Epic Game Jam Interview: Nick Stones, leader of winning team ‘Nova Eye’

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 Nick Stones was part of ‘Nova Eye’ 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 right after the winners were revealed 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 her, the Train2Game Scribd page, or listen on the Train2Game Audioboo site.

 Nova Eye are one of four winning teams at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam with the opportunity to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show Live next year, what does that mean to you?

It’s such a fantastic opportunity and we’re definitely going to make every effort to make 100% of that. I’m over the moon at the moment. I came here, this is my first game jam, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s gone all in our favour. I was delivered a great team and I’ve been able to manage that very well and it’s shown and that’s it at the end of the day. I’m really excited to know that we’ve done our job and it’s gone well. I’m very anxious to know what we can do now for the future.

Was it difficult to contain your excitement when the winners were announced?

Since we’ve been doing this for 48 hours I was quite fine, but overall I was still shocked because I’d only just done my presentation to the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam judges. That was a gruelling experience in itself because I was quite nervous so it’s all still going through my head really.

How big an opportunity for you do you think it is for you to go to The Gadget Show Live and potentially walk away with a fully licensed UDK development kit?

We’ve been given this opportunity, we can put this on our CVs, this is a landmark for us. Everyone who has participated in the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, we can always say we have won a game jam and there’s nothing that can change that. Overall, it’s amazing and I’m really happy to know that this is possible.

 Tell us a bit about the game Nova Eye has produced here at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, based on the theme of Guy Fawkes.

Our Guy Fawkes theme was quite wacky. We basically wanted to break the fourth wall. Our game was about Guy Fawkes and his production levels for Bonfire night. Fireworks weren’t selling, they were being outsold by Halloween and Christmas. So basically, Guy Fawkes is attempting to make sure that Christmas is knocked out of the sale so his markets would increase. What he ends up doing is going to the North Pole and using his custom rocket launcher that shoots fireworks to blow up anything that’s in Santa’s workshop.  That idea is completely crazy, I know that but it’s worked and I think it’s very refreshing.

How did you come up with that idea?

It was actually just a spur of the moment thing. We were talking about how Halloween and Bonfire night, and somebody just went ‘It’s crazy to see all this Christmas stuff before Halloween’ and it went from there. What if, thinking of it from a market side, Guy Fawkes is angry about that and he wants to change it. So there it was, it was a catalyst out of nothing really, just a spur of the moment thought that happened through socialising. So, don’t think you have to go out of the way to make these fantastic ideas, they can come from anything.

So you’d recommend taking part in a Train2Game Game Jam to others?

Yes, I would definitely recommend it. The experience that you get is unlike anything else. You get thrown in at the deep end but it’s not as bad as it sounds. You get to work with some fantastic people, don’t feel unconfident in your own skills, believe in yourself, make sure you’re happy with yourself to come down. Everyone didn’t know what they were doing so don’t worry about it, just come down and get in the moment really! That’s all I can say, get in the moment.

And the team will have to go through the process of designing a game with the genre you’ve picked out for The Gadget Show live. Tell us about the genre, and what your initial thoughts on it are.

We were given Action Adventure.  Our game that we won with was an Action Adventure so it’s something we can already work with depending on the construction of the brief. But since we’ve already done Action Adventure I feel that our confidence level is just that little bit higher than anyone elses’ because we’ve already got something that we’ve worked with already and have previous experience with. I’m over the moon with it. It’s got broad environments so I can work with it and I know my team will be able to do just as well.


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