Train2Game interview: Daniel Rutter of 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 Daniel Rutter 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.

Hi Daniel, what’s the name of your team for Make Something Unreal Live, and why has it got that name?

We’re called IndigoJam Games, and there are a few different reasons. The main one is that Indigo is a colour that scientists can’t decide whether it does or doesn’t exist and it has a bit of mystery around it. And the word jam comes from, well, we all met at the Train2Game & Epic game jam. That’s how we got to know each other, that’s what we’ve got in common and those things came together and sounded quite tasty and so we ran with it.

You’re now moving forward to Make Something Unreal Live where you’re using the Fighting Fantasy IP to make a game, which is of the Fighting Fantasy books is your game going to be based on?

The book we’re doing is one of my personal favourites, and it’s Deathtrap Dungeon.

What genre of game are you making?

We were given the genre of the action adventure game, probably one of the broadest ones out there.

But it goes well with Deathtrap Dungeon.

Definitely. We had the choice of House of Hell or Deathtrap Dungeon. We thought House of Hell was more of a survival horror – still a good IP that we’d love to do at some point – but Deathtrap Dungeon fitted really well with our action adventure brief.

Tell us a bit about your game then, the mechanics, how it works.

We’ve opted for doing a first person action adventure game, keeping with the idea of the book that you are the player, it’s all about you, you don’t have another character there that’s getting in the way of the story, it’s just you and the action. We’ve also stuck to keeping dice for combat, which is very much rooted into that mythos, that’s what all of the books have, that’s what I fondly remember.

We also have a little things like environment kills and being able to sneak around; you can play through the levels in a couple of different ways depending on whether you like doing the combat with dice, or whether you’d rather avoid the enemies of dispatch of them in other ways.

And how have you found developing for the IOS platform?

Developing the game has been fantastic. We’re fairly early adopters for UDK on IOS, there have been a few games and they’re gradually coming out now, so it’s really been a finding our own way of doing things. But once you sort it out, it’s amazing, especially the way we can plug in our iPhone or iPad, plug in the game and actually have it there, play test it, it’s really, really good.

How have you found the transition from being a team at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, to being a fully functioning game developer working towards Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show?

It started off absolutely terrifying! Suddenly, you’ve gone from 48 hours where I’d turned up for the experience and to have fun, and we came out really well from it, which is really good. And then suddenly The Gadget Show is up for grabs, a licence is up for grabs, we really had to knuckle down and come up with something. But we’ve had to work around some clever ways of working because we’re not in the same room, you can’t just lean over and look at what another person is working on.

So, our lead programmer set us up with a forum where we originally started coming up with ideas. Then we were given our IP, we have a Teamspeak account so we can all chat online, so we verbally communicate. We use various web based software for sharing screens, so we are kind of working in the same room, but over the internet.

Are you looking forward to making a game at The Gadget Show live, potentially in front of thousands of people?

I’m really looking forward to it actually, I really am. I’ve always been interested in games, and if something like this had been going on I would’ve been there to see what’s going on and I’m sure lots of people will have lots of questions and I now feel like I’m in a position where I can answer some of those questions because we’re doing it. That’s really cool.

What are the contact details for IndigoJam on Facebook and Twitter?

Our Twitter handle is @IndigoJamGames and our Facebook page is also IndigoJamGames. So come along, like us, follow us, we’ll share information with you.

Thanks for your time and good luck for The Gadget Show.

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

 

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