Train2Game News: Sam Hawkins talks to Train2Game Radio

Sam Hawkins, level designer for Derp Studios spoke to me about his life and where he wants to go with his career.

You can listen to the interview here:

Or read the transcript below:

Hi, I’m Sam Hawkins. I’m from Chelmsford, Essex and I am on the Designer Course.

What’s your story Sam, what are the past experiences that have shaped your life?
Well starting from the beginning, I used to do a lot of Bmxing back in my original home town of Dagenham. It was a big group of us that used to do it, we used to go around streets of Dagenham and Romford, originally just around Essex at first, just doing street Bmxing.  Eventually we just started getting around the UK, it was really good fun. After that, I moved to Chelmsford, where I am now where I did a bit of college for a year, doing Engineering. After that I took a real passion for music, it was relit from school. Music has always been a passion of mine and I played drums for a rock band for about 2 or 3 years. Then I found this course and I’ve been doing this ever since.

You’re also the main level designer for Derp Studios, had you done much level design before that?
Prior to the Game Jam that we had last year, no. None at all I have kind of just taken to it really well, it’s like finding my calling.

Do you think that’s what you are going to go on to in the industry its self. You want to aim for more level design stuff?
Yeah 100%.

Do you think that stems from your Engineering in college?
Possibly, yeah.  When I was doing Engineering at college it was drummed into me that everything I made was 100% perfect. I loved the feeling of actually building something and getting my hands in to it. I’ve always admired the way levels have been played out in front of me, how they’ve been designed or engineered. I think it’s fascinating.

So out of all the things you’ve done with the Bmxing and everything like that, what do you thinks the most dramatic or exciting thing you have done through your life?
Being in the band, prior to The Gadget Show that was in the beginning of this year that was the pinnacle of what I have been doing so far. Before that it was being in the band. At one point we actually got signed for a little bit.

How’s Dire Consequences doing on the iOS store now?
I think it’s doing OK, It’s been received quite well. We actually do have a patch coming out for it very soon, to add new levels. There’s also been a lot of people giving us some really good feedback, some really good creative criticism, that we can take from and build on it.

Yeah, so are you happy with the game then and how it’s all turned out?
Yeah I am. It’s been really good fun working for it, also stressful at the same time, as most projects probably will be.

So how does it feel to be published?
It’s fantastic, it’s absolutely fantastic! I couldn’t believe it when I heard it

Do you think it will open up your gaming prospects and your prospects for your career and everything?
Oh definitely.  When you look at applying for a job in the industry, a lot of people want Designers or Programmers or whatever to have experience. With this behind my belt it is going to be a lot easier if I do venture out to look at other studios.

What’s your big game plan for the future Sam?
For the time being I am just concentrating on getting the course done and a lot of portfolio work that needs doing. Other than that I am going to be working for Derp Studios for a lot longer, get as many games under my belt as I can and really try and establish ourselves as a company as well. If we can do that and be really successful then I’ll just take it from there really! I may venture off into a much bigger studio but at the moment I’ll stay with Derp.

Well I think that’s all we’ve got time for today Sam, so thank you very much!
Thank you very much for your time Mark. Thank you

Cheers Buddy