Train2Game interview: Ben Stoneman of Train2Game & Epic Games Make Something Unreal Live team IndigoJam

Train2Game students are launching four new development studios in 2012 as part of ‘Make Something Unreal Live,’ a competitive process designed to accelerate their careers by giving them the tools and resources needed to release games for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this spring.

The studios are Commando Kiwi, Derp Studios, Digital Mage and Indigo Jam.

The first titles released by the studios will be based on the Fighting Fantasy series of books created by Ian Livingston and Steve Jackson.

We caught up with IndigoJam’s Ben Stoneman to find out how the road to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show has gone so far. Listen via Train2Game Radio or read it here on The Train2Game Blog.

First of all, tell us a bit about your studio for Make Something Unreal Live.

We’re a group of ten; we have three artists, three designers, three programmers and we have a QA Tester. We were forged just after the November Train2Game & Epic Game Jam.

Let’s talk a bit about the history of the team, how did you all get on at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam?

Well, we actually formed afterwards. Basically, I was in a team then I was chosen as an individual, coming into IndigoJam then was voted to be team captain.

How have you found working with the Fighting Fantasy IP, and which story have you been given to make a game about and what genre is it going to be?

We’ve got Deathtrap Dungeons and it’s going to be an action adventure, and Fighting Fantasy in general, I love it. I’m a big Dungeons and Dragons player, and in a way the worlds relate. When I was a kid, I used to read them all the time and my dad has got loads of the books, he’s very much into that sort of thing anyway. So, it’s been something from my childhood I can bring to the game.

You mentioned your dad has a strong interest in games, how does he feel about you heading up a team, making a video game at The Gadget Show Live?

He’s very proud. He’s happy about the theme we received and of course he’s basically been the person who’s headed my Dungeons and Dragons past, as in playing it and he’s chuffed to bits really.

And how do you feel about making a Fighting Fantasy game using Epic’s Unreal Engine for IOS?

I think the Epic Unreal Engine works really well for the theme due to things like the graphics. The engine in general is really good to use, but bringing it to life is…I’d say it’s always a challenge, to want to bring something that these writers have made in the past, like books that are so good, that we’ve got to meet that and we’ve got to deliver the excellence that has come before us as it were.

Of course, the skills you and your team have learned on Train2Game courses are helping the team to achieve that.

Definitely, yeah.  Really, all of the course material helps towards everything we do for Make Something Unreal Live.

What have been the biggest landmarks for IndigoJam so far on the road to Make Something Unreal Live?

Our Alpha version of the game has been our biggest landmark; it’s really our first rush to hit a deadline as it were. And there was also the concept stage where we had to basically design the concept, what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go, what direction the game would take in design.

And how do you feel about developing the game at The Gadget Show Live, potentially in front of thousands of people?

I’m looking forward to it and of course a bit nervous as well, but I think it’ll be really good and I’m confident in my abilities as well as the team’s abilities to show thousands of people that we’re good at game development and show them how exciting and fun it can be to actually do it.

For those who want to follow your progress in the run up to Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show, what are IndigoJam’s Facebook and Twitter contact details?

Follow us on Twitter at @IndigoJamGames and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IndigoJamGames

Great Ben, thanks for your time and good luck.

Thank you very much.

Keep up to date with the latest news from Make Something Unreal Live here on The Train2Game Blog.

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