Train2Game News Student working with indie studio

Train2Game Student Tabi Polson (Fitsy) is working with an indie studio on its first game: Rocket Rumble
Studio Small Jelly is a new London based studio which is working on Rocket Rumble. The independent studio is using Train2Game student Tabi Poulson to provide insight into the current market and research the potential audience for the game.

Rocket Rumble is a multi-player turn based card game set on rocket propelled ships. It’s a game with a hard-core mechanic at its heart which caters for the casual audience. Players can drop in and play games for minutes at a time but still get there hard-core gaming fix. The artwork was created to be accessible while also being on trend. 

A great deal of passion has gone into the game. During testing the team often find themselves’ enjoying the game rather than testing its limits. The Small Jelly team are passionate games makers and hope the success of the game will let them create titles long into the future. The team plan to get Rocket Rumble into Beta at the end of the year.

The Small Jelly team spoke of Tabi’s contribution and how important it is as an Indie to have support. Resourcing as an indie is a challenge, but by working together they have overcome these challenges. Keeping control of the product and working with a great team has been the reward.

Train2Game students can help going into the future by joining the Beta and reaching out to the team to support. 

An a full interview with the studio founders is below

What’s your history in the games industry and job history?

Ben: I started my career in the games industry in Vancouver Canada about 10 years ago. I’ve worked on everything from PC RTS to educational games for kids.

Vicky: I spent about half my career as AI programmer for PC and console, then later moved to mobile where I’ve mostly had lead roles.

Where does the name come from?

Small Jelly is really just our surnames Vicky Smalley and Ben Geliher. Vicky’s is easy to see but mine comes from a mispronunciation of my name that kinda stuck as the nickname ‘Jellyhair’.

What are you currently working on?

We’re making our first game, Rocket Rumble. It’s a multiplayer CCG set in space. It’s a bit like Hearthstone meets FTL.

How did you come up with the concept?

Both of us are gamers and have been all our lives. We’re at that point in life where we don’t have as much time to play games as we used to but we still want the same thrill of playing hardcore games. 

Most casual games just aren’t exciting to play for gamers and hardcore games tend to need much more time commitment. We wanted to create games that scratched both itches – thrilling to play but easy to pick up and play in a 10 minute session.

The art is outstanding; can you tell us more about how it came together?

It’s mainly the work of our outstanding Art Director Graham Denny! I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for space games and they’ve been having resurgence recently but we knew we wanted to do space in a way that was fun and more accessible than the gunmetal greys and blacks you tend to get. When Graham came on board he got it straight away. 

It’s a unique idea; would you say there’s a lot of passion in this game?

There’s a ton of passion in this game; you can’t work in the games industry without it. It helps that we all actually find the game really fun. Sometimes that can cause problems though. When we’re supposed to be testing a new build people are actually just trying to beat each other rather than properly test it.

What’s next for the game in its lifecycle?

We are still in development at the moment but we’re working towards a closed beta at the end of the year. It’s a multiplayer game so we want to get people playing it as soon as possible so we can learn what to do.

What have been the challenges in being an indie?

A lot of the business side of things is difficult. Bigger companies have a lot of specialist departments to sort out every little thing but as an indie you kinda just have to jump in and do it yourself. Everyone’s been great chipping in where they can to bridge the gaps.

What are the rewards?

Working on a game where you are in control is highly motivating. The team is also a big plus. Working with people that are not only amazingly talented but also great fun to work with. 

How has Fitsy been helping out?

Fitsy has been amazing in helping us with market research and she’s going to help us going forward figuring out what players want from the game as we develop it. 

What are your ambitions for the game?

Our hope is that it is successful enough that we can keep making games. We’re in this because we love what we do for a living and we hope we can create a business that can keep us doing what we love.

How can Train2Game students help you out?

Follow us on Twitter, read our dev blog at smalljelly.com and get involved with the game. As I mentioned, we want to release as early as we can and build a community who can help us make the game better as we build it so if any of your readers are interested in the closed beta then they should get in touch at hello@smalljelly.com.

Website: Smalljelly.com

Twitter @smalljellygames

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Train2Game News Catch up with Ben Stoneman

Ben Stoneman now at Unity talks to Train2Game about his time with T2G, Game Jams, One Game A Month, Unity and his ongoing games making journey 
Ben is a favourite of Train2Game and studied with T2G for a number of years, taking part in game jams is a strong part of the wider community. It’s always great to speak with this young man who has a passion for games and is extremely well driven. Since finishing with Train2Game he’s gone on to a career in games and we caught up with him to hear how he’s getting on.

Ben enjoyed Train2Game and it was a catalyst in his gaming career.  He found he learnt on the course but experience in making games and having good mentors are essential to developing as a games maker and therefore a career in the games industry. Taking part in Train2Game Game Jams taught him about the development process. He’s gone on to mentor at Game Jams and be part of the judging process. Ben still regularly attends game jams and sees it as essential to becoming a better game developer. 

Ben now takes part in one game a month, a collective of games makers that share their projects in creating a title a month. Creating nice simple games and he encourages players to first make the first ever game: Pong.  He sees it as a way to train yourself as a developer which highly recommends. Through the experience he’s learnt a great deal and made a huge variety of games. He’s not going to release any games as yet as he is still aware that he is growing as a developer.

Ben works in the support team at Unity providing answers to any enquiry from any Unity user. He’s enjoying it a great deal, providing assistance by day and making games by night. He’s found that his skills as a rounded developer have continued to grow.

Ben Stoneman, Unity Support Team: ‘Train2Game is a catalyst in your game development career. However, I do believe that if you are not honing your skills without T2G’s help (in your personal/free time) then you will not make it in the industry. You need to want to do it, like an alcoholic wants to go to the pub.’

‘In my first T2G game jam, I learnt about the development process. Most of what I know now, the skills that make me a good game developer come from mentors and personal projects (make an inventory system that looks cool). The learning material helps only a small amount but having mentors is very important in life.’

‘I did go on to judge at a game jam, only a small game jam at “Insomnia” Games Festival. It was okay, but the fun was not in judging but in helping people with their Unity and general game development questions.’

‘One Game a Month, well it is exactly as it sounds. Starting from now, you begin making a game and the deadline is the last day of the month. The game does not need to be “call of duty” it can be as simple as pong, in fact I recommend that you make pong to start.’

‘After a year you will find that you have made 12 games and you have experience in making different games. It is a good way to train yourself. A body builder goes to the gym every week to get bigger muscles, a game developer makes a game every week/month to become better.’

‘I’m keeping to it. I never really show off the games as they are for my own personal learning. It’s taught me a lot. Through it I’ve made boss battles, memory games, inventory systems, quest logs, networking/multiplayer systems, graphical shaders, dialogue systems and so much more!’

‘I’m not currently looking to develop the games further, there are game ideas that I love and hold in my mind, but I’m not really looking to make a game to sell yet. Rovio (makers of angry birds) made over 40 games before angry birds, I’m getting my first 40 games done now and out of the way😉 I would encourage Train2Game to help its students to achieve it!’

‘I am attending plenty of Game Jams. Game jams are the staple diet of any game developer. If you are not making games, then you are doing it wrong. Game jams are a really good way to practice; they prompt you by giving your ideas (the theme) and a deadline (T -48hours). It is surprisingly hard to give yourself a deadline in the same way.’

‘I work in the Support team at Unity. I’m currently a support specialist; I deal with any question that anyone wants to ask. I help users that do not pay for premium support with technical questions or other general questions. It is going great, I’m the happiest I’ve been. I get to help game developers all day and make and play games in my spare time.’

‘I’m learning all the time. I went from someone who could only design games to someone who can make games all by myself. It is easy to stop learning and just settle but if games are your passion then even if you are a billionaire, you would still make games. I feel like I can make any game that is presented to me. The key to this is not in knowing all the answers already but in knowing how to find the answers by myself when I need them.’

‘In the future I plan to progress in Unity and ensure that Unity stays strong and helps anyone who wants to make games. I also like to mentor and teach others C#, blender3d and the Unity editor itself.’

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Train2Game News Student Studios Secret Project

Appatier’s new top secret project is going well… don’t tell anyone!
Train2Game student studio Appatier is working on yet another paid contract. The team is creating a new mobile game, but they’re not allowed to talk about it.

A Train2Game success story, Appatier is now working on its second major project of 2016. The small and diverse studio staffed by a group of friends is working on a new title.  But the studio can’t give out the details as it has been sworn to secrecy. The project is under NDA but they can say, it’s a mobile game…

According to John Esslemont MD of Appatier the project is going really well. They are working hard, there’s a great Producer onboard who’s giving them excellent leadership and direction. The nameless Producer has kept an eye on the team, helping them to overcome many obstacles.

This is by far the largest project the team has undertaken and they have learnt a great deal. Appatier is working to deadlines and milestones in the project. Overcoming bugs has been a key obstacle as has tinkering with the original code as the design changes.

They did not think they would get the project, it’s a huge step up for them and they are now working with professionals at the top tier of games development. John says the project was easy to staff as he chose friends that have a similar ethic to him.

The team has done some ludicrous hours to deliver what the client wants but learnt a great deal along the way. For John he’s learnt to be prepared and earnt even more respect for Designers. His advice for others is to ‘’work smarter’’ and to make sure you are spending time on the right things.

John Esslemont, Managing Director, Appatier: ‘The project is going really well at the moment three days away from a deadline which I only just realised but we are on track apart from one little bug. There have certainly been times where I think “Ok we have gone and messed up now”. But it has always turned out to be really good in the end. We have Stephen our producer to thank for that, the guy is so down to earth and understands development which from my previous experience is a hard thing to come by.’ 

‘I have learned so much I feel like I have forgotten more. The one thing I have learnt is to design everything before a single line of code gets written. We went ahead and carried on development after we passed a milestone, when we delivered it was not what the client wanted, so crunch time it was, 16 hours days became the norm, all the way through to 36 hour days and nights to make sure we got what they wanted done and we got it done fast. They trusted us to get something done so we made sure we delivered on it.’ 

‘It is actually awesome working with a Producer! He knows about development so it’s really good as he understands the hurdles you go through and little things that crop up. Not only that but when he found out we were working stupid hours he told us to stop and get rest he doesn’t want us getting ill. Now I have never had this before so that too me by surprise. He is so relaxed about stuff, you know when he wants something done by talking to him, Also the guy is like a mind reader he can just tell if you are thinking something or if something is up does it with Edd all the time haha.’ 

‘This is by far the biggest project I have even done, Financially, Professionally, and everything else in-between. When we put in our pitch I truly didn’t think we would get it, I mean we have the skills and experience we were not fazed by anything. But to go from freelancing to working with top tier people in games is a huge level up for all of us.’ 

‘It was easy to choose who to work with. I have worked with Domm for about 3 years, I knew he didn’t like his job and wanted to offer him something better so with us being mates it was a no brainer. I worked with Edd over the last year and his work ethic and attention to detail is insane! Not only that but a UI Artist, Designer, Web Developer, and musician all in one, is a no brainer.’

‘We have hit a fair share of problems while working on the game, infact I’m busy fixing one now. Essentially we wrote a system that would do what we needed it too at the time, but as the design changes we need to go back and change it to accommodate for the new changes.’

‘As for design, well let’s just say I now know what a designer does and I’m not into that! I help a lot with these things but it is so time consuming and you really need to break the idea down to will it work or not, do we think it is good or not, if not why if yes why. It’s all theoretical of course but the amount of work that goes into it I never even knew. So yeah respect to all game designers!’ 

‘Recommends for others, well with design just send a lot more to client and see what is said, have more meetings about things. One thing that the producer did say to us which we are still using right now is “Work Smarter”. If we need to know something and no one is say online or your waiting for a reply just do what you think until they are available. Do not leave it and go work on something else finish your task as best you can until you really cannot do any more on it then move on. Or if you are starting to get code block or your mind is fried take a break and go chill for a bit. A fresh mind is always better than a foggy one.’ 

‘What’s next? Well we need to finish this current deadline so we can move onto our server side stuff and social integrations.’

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Train2Game News PlasisGames is back and better than ever

Free online games platform created by Train2Game student updated and now back online.

A platform created by Train2Game student Sean Brady updated and now available for the people of the world to enjoy free-to-play online games. 

Sean from Dublin, Ireland, is delighted to have the platform live again. He’s been working to give the site a new look and remove barriers for player enjoyment.  Games are available in all popular online formats, the new site has been streamlined and many new games have been added. 

The site will continue to be improved with user feedback, also, games will be boosted and removed based on the popularity of the games when on the site. Plasis will work with partners that would like to post games on the site, which can be submitted through the platform.

Plasis game will also continue to develop its own games, including Hut of The Dead, which is inspired by zombie games, films and TV shows, such as The Walking Dead.

Sean Brady, Plasis and Train2Game: ‘The’ portal is back online with more addictive games and endless fun. Flash, HTML5, Unity3d, etc… 

‘Games are continuously being sourced for your never-ending enjoyment. Any obstacles which contributed significant delays to the growth of the portal have been overcome with new games being processed thick and fast to deliver a more varied entertainment mecca. After a considerable amount of years spent playing and crafting the experience of gameplay I know the portal will eventually provide everything desired contemporary fun-seekers.’

‘We are currently in the testing phase of hundreds of games at the moment to confirm they deliver the experience required. The games are sourced from any avenue that is approved by the author or provide free to use. At this time, we have 196 games residing on the portal that have been validated through our strenuous testing suites. They vary across many genres/platforms and use a freeform model of placement to allow a greater variety of fun choices. If any wishes to partner with Plasis Games or to have games included in the portal, please contact us using for further information.’

‘Apart from the publishing of games, the development side of Plasis Games is in full swing and will result in a small indie horror game for World Weaver to continue with Hut of the Dead series. Actually the game is a different take on the hut/house full of the walking dead/dying concept to deliver a more immersive relatable experience. The main delay has involved developing solutions to surpass the technical limitations of the prescribed engine and feature vacant tools. 

Frankly, the development is leaning more towards manual-granular game development trials and tribulations instead of their modern hyper productive counter-parts. In the end the quality delivered shall be the same using either approach leaving an extended development time as the only negative among an arsenal of hard-fought positives for guaranteed delivery of a solid game.’

‘There will be a lot of advancements over the coming year, all to provide more opportunities for players, developers and publishers a like. If anyone wants to view the portal, the web address is www.plasisgamesportal.com and again the contact email is info@plasisgamesportal.com ‘

‘Don’t forget to come along to play some games on the portal and follow us on the channels below as updates are soon to come…’

Twitter (https://twitter.com/PlasisGames)

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PlasisGames/)

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu6VCNG4OATLjY0twFL7lag)

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

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Train2Game Fabble’s Adventure Development Update

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Train2Game student James Mahon updates on Fabble’s Adventure, his progress on the course and plans for the future

James Mahon and team are working on Children’s platformer Fabble’s Adventure, and its progressing nicely. He plans to use his experience making the game to learn more about creating games and as a platform to develop more games in the future.

The development of Fabble’s Adventure is going really well. In the game Fabble and Minx are on a quest to find lost rice grains. It’s a traditional platformer aimed at young players with a cute yet exciting storyline. There are now six worlds for players to explore. Rewards have been introduced and replay-value added.

Current focus is programming and getting levels right, which has taken a great deal of time. The team is finding it a challenge making a game but ultimately very rewarding. At this point James is working with another Train2Game student who has taken up a position of head of QA and they are not looking for any additional help until the game launches.

James is enjoying the course, he sees it as a great chance to learn and socialise with people that have a common goal. He’s now working on portfolio projects having successfully completed course work. In the future wants to continue making similar games that have a positive effect on kids.

Train2Game student James Mahon: ‘We’ve made massive progress on the game’s environments and challenges. It’s a platformer that embraces traditional gameplay in with a cartoon look and feel. There are six different worlds for players to explore. In them, collecting items is a major part of the game flow and finding the hidden objectives are the main goal. When goals are accomplished, the player will set their own personal achievements for them to beat again, allowing for replay-ability and extended gameplay time.’

‘The game story features Fabble and Minx who are on a quest to find the lost rice grains throughout the different worlds in their universe. Their ultimate goal is to defeat Ghosthead, a mutant bug that terrorized the lost rice grains into fleeing their home. There are a variety of monsters, big and small, to defeat and a good range of challenges to overcome on their quest.’

‘The current focus is in programming to make the game’s challenges work as planned. There a numerous obstacles and pitfalls that we have to get functional in order start creating levels. We’re a small team with a big project and it’s very time consuming especially programming so that’s where a large part of the workforce is currently.’

‘The journey so far has been challenging but a lot of fun nonetheless. Taking a concept from paper to a working product is hard work but a rewarding experience. I’ve learned to appreciate game-making much like playing a game. There’s always a personal sense of accomplishment when overcoming a challenge and that’s what motivates me to continue.’

‘I’ve successfully interviewed a candidate who is also a student of Train2Game on the QA game tester course. He’s currently providing much needed support with the programming tasks and has the major role as head of QA throughout development.’

‘The recruitment drive is over for now. We have enough workers to get the project done and on time. There will be a new recruitment drive when the game enters QA in the later stages of development. We’ll be on the lookout for beta testers and even testers that fit within the game’s target audience. The most preferable skill is a working knowledge of programming concepts to be able to break the game and find bugs that could ruin the game experience.’

‘Level design is next on the list for the game, as soon as the game’s challenges are implemented. My studies as a designer will help out with this most important aspect. I want to create simple but fun gameplay with a variety of challenges while embracing the traditional platformer gameplay style.’

‘I’m currently halfway through with my Train2Game portfolio projects after having successfully completed my tutor marked assignments. I enjoy reading through my course work and applying what I’ve learned. Also, being a part of Train2Game’s community seeing as I have somewhere to hang out and socialize with people that have a similar passion. There’s also the much needed support for students from staff to help make our ambitions become a reality.’

‘In the future, I want to start an independent videogame company to specialize in creating mobile and PC games for kids. Fabble’s Adventure is the only game I’m committed to at the moment. I have other games for kids in the concept stage waiting to be created. I want to finish what I’m doing with this game before I take on another project.’

‘It’s still important for me to create games for kids. I wouldn’t want to turn down a good opportunity to create video game products, I believe, they will love. I also believe video games are a great learning tool and that means a lot more for me to create games that have a positive influence on kids.’

https://www.facebook.com/Fabbles-Adventure-937004039692461

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

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Train2Game News The first ever Game Marmalade spread thick with talent

Game Marmalade

Game Marmalade a complete success in its initial year

Game Jam organised by Train2Game students had a spread of talented entries and some great games are coming out of the event.

This year saw the launch of Game Marmalade, the student organised Game Jam for Train2Game students. It was well attended and the games produced impressed event organisers. The next step in the process will be the judging.

The event was a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills. Organisers can’t wait to see the games finished that had such huge potential. There were four teams in total with three games produced for judging. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.

Some unfortunate drop outs meant team members had to adapt to new roles. Three out of four games were completed but the unfinished team are still working to finish its project. The attendees of the Jam are continuing to work on their titles or beginning new projects together.

The event was created and managed by Train2Game forum member Slinks. She was extremely happy with how the event went, especially with the games the students produced and the networking opportunities created.

The next step is the judging process, and then announcement of the winner. There’s potential for another Game Jam in the future but that’s not confirmed at this time.

Train2Game student and Game Marmalade organiser, Slinks: ‘Game Marmalade was an excellent success and from all the positive feedback I’ve had, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt a great deal. It’s been very rewarding organising Game Marmalade and I’ve learned so much about putting an event like this together. Everyone who took part should be really proud of themselves and what they achieved and I’m sure we will see some awesome games being developed in the future.’

‘Before the event I asked my fellow students to send me their suggestions for a theme and received lots of great entries. The suggestions were put into a hat and I picked one out at the start of the event. The theme chosen at random was – The End Is Just The Beginning.’

‘There are so many awesome things which have come together as a result of Game Marmalade. Two studios have been formed so far who are either continuing to work on the games they entered, or work on future projects.’

‘More students are now in contact with each other, which was the ultimate aim of the event for me. My Teamspeak channel has grown which means we have a greater student to student support network. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know our Tutors, who are all awesome and gave up so much of their own time for the event. But I think the best thing was that everyone really enjoyed it, everyone who took part worked well together and everyone learned so much about game creation.’

‘Most of the teams are continuing to develop their games and are also working on future projects, so the positive energy generated by the event has certainly been good for getting things started and I’m very interested to see where everyone takes things from here.’

‘We had one team drop out and one developer who was unable to make it, but 3 out of the 4 teams managed to enter executable games. The team without a developer still worked really hard on producing all the assets needed for a full game and the artists did a really superb job.’

‘The designer of the team put in a colossal effort trying to learn how to program a game engine, with little previous knowledge and it’s a real shame he didn’t quite make it. However the team are determined to see this project through to the end and hope to put the game together over the next few months.’

‘The next event in the Game Marmalade calendar is the Judging. This will take place on Sunday 12th June in Teamspeak and there will be 5 judges giving us their marks and thoughts on each game. It should be a good evening with much discussion and we’ll find out which teams game has won.’

‘If I did it again, there are a few things I’d do differently to improve the event, but they are small changes which wouldn’t affect how the event ran, as it was pretty much a complete success. As to doing it again, I’m really not sure, my priority right now is working on my portfolio and passing the City and Guilds exam.’

‘There is still plenty of time to play the games and vote for your favourite on the website http://slinkydink68.wix.com/game-marmalade#!entries/zboej The Loonys are currently in the lead but it’s neck and neck with the Psyber Sprites. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Straw Poll and it’s been neck and neck between these 2 from the start, exciting stuff.’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com

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Train2Game News Student Studio lands lucrative contract

LDP OnlineAppatier Limited has begun a project for a training provider; creating a Pizzeria to teach employees about ‘Kaizan’

John Esslemont and his team are designing a game for online training provider LDP-Online as part of a paid contract. The art of Japanese organisation is combining with the modern phenomenon of videogames (and pizza), as Appatier Limited design an app to teach employees about management. John also used the opportunity to say he supports Train2Game and the work it does for students.

The team is currently working on a pizza game that teaches people about ‘Kaizan’ which is Japanese for organisation. The educational game lets people learn about management and perfect running a team. It sounds simple but designing a game where multiple actions have to time together to the second, has been a challenge. It’s the first game of its kind that John is aware of, but he expects lots more in the future.

John has had a good experience with Train2Game and loves the staff; he learnt lots about games development and self-motivation. Says some students don’t get the most out of Train2Game and they are to blame for not applying themselves. That many students have gone on to setup indie studios and work at AAA Developers. Extremely appreciative of the staff at Train2Game and grateful to them for getting him where he is today.

John is using all his own project management skills to get the job done, and working with his team on the project. The job came through his Train2Game network of contacts. His advice to other students looking to get professional contracts is get out there and ‘work your butt off.’

John Esslemont, Director, Appatier Limited: ‘The experience was good with Train2Game and the staff that work for them are amazing! With Train2Game I learnt a lot of aspects of game development through the course and other students along with a load of self-study which is essential to learning in any field.’

‘I see some people feeling disgruntled with Train2Game that they haven’t learnt anything or haven’t progressed and feel the need to blame Train2Game. That is complete rubbish, I know a tonne of students who are now into AAA games, or indie games studios, it all takes self-discipline to get anywhere in this field. Sorry just felt like I needed to get that in there.’

‘Without train2Game and I sincerely mean this, I doubt I would be where I am, the staff there I have got to know over the past couple years have been amazing with me, especially Harry & Eric, those guys are the boyo’s.’

‘Right now we are working on a restaurant style game that is designed to help people learn Kaizan, which is a Japanese term for organisation essentially. The client is LDP-Online. It will but will be available via LDP-Online and the App Stores. We hope this will be the first of many projects.’

‘The point of the game is for you to think like a manager, you must position your staff and give them jobs to complete. The app will be used for training purposes on the Kaizan principle.

‘If your staff do a terrible job that is of course down to you, and you must learn how to adapt to this fast to get your staff in a rhythm, which will in turn generate you more profit and help you complete the game. It is in terms of thought a small game, turns out all the inner workings like timings, staff jobs, etc are a little more complicated than we first thought.’

‘The job came through a contact of Train2Game, part of the training providers network. As a student they were aware of me and then I got put forward for the job, and was lucky enough to get it. I haven’t seen very many of games like this, mostly because I haven’t searched for them, but I 100% believe that this sort of thing will grow exponentially in the training markets.’

‘The biggest thing I feel that is helping me personally is my ability to manage a team and understand the whole process while being involved in every aspect of the game’s design and development. I am a programmer, but also project manager along with the director so I have to organise everything and make sure everyone is working to deadlines and plans, if they are not that needs to be changed or adapted to the current situation.’

‘I’ve not worked on anything like this at all, in fact it was our first 2D game so we had to learn a lot of the basics and setups to get this right. Once you feel comfortable making games you tend to throw yourself into it really. It has gone really good up to now, some hiccups but nothing serious which is always good.’

‘The timings and how everything is structured has been difficult, the game is designed in such a way that the timings need to be near perfect for it to work. For example is a guy is walking from point A to point B but he needs to take 7 seconds to arrive there, we then need to dynamically change his speed so that it only takes him 7 seconds to get there. Simple math but lots of things like this piling up and all intertwining can become a bit of a brain dead moment.’

‘My advice for other students looking for their first paying client: Put yourself out there; go to the Unity forums, Unreal forums, UpWork and more. Honestly apply for everything within your skill set or what you think you can do. Do not ever be put off by someone asking for something you don’t know what to do right now as that is part of learning. So if you see a job you like the look off and have say a basic understanding of what needs to be done and how you would roughly do it, then go for it!’

‘Once you have your client, work your butt off for them, but also remember to not let them think they own you, define what your work will involve and work to what you both agreed. If they want changes, that is fine, if they want more features or something similar charge them for your time!’

‘I learnt that the hard way!’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Soldier uses experience for games career

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Soldier will use his military experience as he embarks on career in gaming

Former soldier and Train2Game student now focusing on a career in gaming, plans to use military experience as inspiration for making games

Train2Game student and former soldier, Daniel Smith (Smudge) has left the army to embark full time on his games making journey. He plans to use his unique insight into warfare to develop military strategy and RPG games.

The course is going very well for Dan. Train2Game has been very understanding, when he embarked on the course he was still serving. It was tough to balance getting through the course alongside the requirements of military training for the 28 year old.

Dan gained extensive experience and training in the army, he had many roles including; Sapper, Medic, Combat Engineer and Searcher. Dan served in Afghanistan 2011. Dan enjoyed the travel, camaraderie and the accomplishments during his time serving.

He’s since left the army to pursue life dreams as a games designer. He’s studying computer games design with Train2Game. He plans to use his army experience as inspiration for games.

Train2Game student, Daniel Smith: ‘I’m 28, from Newark (near Nottingham), although I have just moved to Preston. I’m studying the Computer Game Designers Course with Train2Game. It’s going well at the moment, but it was quite sporadic while I was in the Army. Sometimes I would be able to get into a good study pattern, other times there was a lot going on, from additional training, which can be long and intense, to exercises aboard and deployments. This meant I would have to spend a lot of effort catching up.’

‘I’ve just started Section 2 Part C. The experience has been very positive, they’ve been very understanding of my situation and have given me lots of support and advice. I’ve wanted to become a Game Designer for some time, before taking the course I had no idea what was required to become one, so taking the course to make sure I have all the skills and knowledge I need.’

‘I was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, After completing Basic Training I was trained as a Combat Engineer, learning such skills as Water Supply, Field Fortifications and Demolitions. I then went on to being trained as an Electrician. I had many roles after I had finished my training, I was given the responsibility of looking after a store, and being trained as a Team Medic, I volunteered to be trained in EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) and further trained as a Searcher.’ 

‘I have a lot of positive memories from the Army. I’ve visited many places, like Petra in Jordan and Bosnia. I’ve been parachuting, white water rafting and scuba diving. But my best memories have to be with the friends I made and the (now legendary) things we all got up to. I’ve also achieved a lot, even completing some of the training courses were huge accomplishments. I served in Afghanistan in 2011 as a Searcher, which involved clearing IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) routes and buildings.’

‘I’ve now left the military, Army life was starting to get in the way of where I wanted my life to go. I’ve always been interested in gaming. I prefer playing computer games over reading books or watching TV. I’m also an avid wargamer and have been since I was in my early teens. it seemed logical to start studying the subject.’ 

‘I have written a set of rules for a squad-sized tabletop game that draws from my army experience of firefights, being fast and chaotic events that can easily devolve into a confusing mess if not controlled well. I also have an idea for a war inspired game that involves the use of infantry tactics, as well having to manage what equipment you take with you on missions. I am a fan on RTS, TBS and RPGs games and would really enjoy creating games in there genres.’

‘I’ll predominantly draw from the fighting side of my time in the army for war-style games, but this sense of conflict and overcoming obstacles will translate to other genres, particularly RPGs. Soldiers also have a very unique sense of humour that will inevitably find its way into my games.’

‘I hope to work my way up to the position of Senior Designer and Lead Designer. I hope to create games that people will love to play and that will be looked on as classics.’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2game News GameFounders

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GameFounders has over 150 game executives in its global mentor network from Blizzard to Valve, Ketchapp to Rovio, Unity to Google.

Ten lucky teams get to spend 3 months learning from these industry giants and tapping into their vast networks while living in the gorgeous city of Kuala Lumpur. Which young game studio would not want that?

Since 2012, GameFounders has made 46 investments into young game studios from 22 different countries. There are no rules as to the games the teams make- so far they have targeted mobile, PC and VR platforms, made F2P, premium and ad-based games as well as targeted all regions of the world. The main criteria of the evaluation to get into GameFounders are the team composition, the vision and the quality the team can produce.

The success stories of GameFounders portfolio teams so far include: Bad Seed Entertainment from Italy that went on to raise investment from Mind the Bridge and United Ventures; IMGNATION Studio from Brazil that went on to raise investment and get accepted to the US based VR accelerator Boost VC; Tiny Lab Productions from Lithuania that was awarded Google Top Developer for the quality of games they produce; Interactive Fate from Estonia that raised investment from a crowd investment platform; Bitcake Studio from Brazil that went on to launch their game Holodrive and grew their players from 10k to a million.

All game studios around the world can apply through gamefounders.com/apply until June 10, 2016. If selected to the program, the studio will have access to over 150 gaming mentors, partners and intros. Besides that, GameFounders is providing the start-ups with seed capital of up to 15k euros in exchange for a moderate share of equity. Teams are expected to have beta version, prototype or slice of their game, but also to be ready to set up a business. The upcoming 3-month cycle, already sixth for GameFounders, takes off in August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The applications will be evaluated by the very same mentors, that will be working with the teams. “We have now seen over 1000 applications from around 80 countries in our 4 years of operations, so we can already see from the applications who is taking their business seriously and who wants to try their luck,” noted Kadri Ugand, co-founder of the accelerator. “Fortunately for us we see a huge number of teams that have thought beyond needing money to finish the game and have a plan to grow into a real business.”

GameFounders, created in early 2012, is a global start-up accelerator that is purely focused on gaming. The accelerator offers young game companies high-level mentors, partnership deals and a global contact network with a sprinkle of start-up capital.

GameFounders Asia was launched in 2015 in alliance with MDeC, a Malaysian government agency, which drives the National ICT Initiative; MSC Malaysia and the National Digital Economy Initiative; Digital Malaysia. MSC Malaysia is the platform to nurture the growth of Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the ICT industry while attracting participation from global ICT companies to invest and develop cutting-edge digital and creative solutions in Malaysia.

Train2game News Train2Game student joins UK studio

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Looking to make next step into the Games Industry Muir Halleron is volunteering with Games Development studio Atom Republic.

Muir who’s originally from the US now lives in Leeds with son and cat, has been with Train2Game for three years. At this stage coming to the end of the course and looking at City & Guilds qualifications.

Muir is volunteering with Atom Republic as a moderator, working on its Atom Universe social world, a project which is now available on PS4 and Steam.

Muir sees networking and working with professionals as a huge plus and has learnt a great deal from the experience. Now plans to use the experience to get into making games or as a foot in the door as a moderator or QA.

Train2Game student, Muir Halleron ‘I’m an American ex Pat and have been living in the UK for 15 years. Currently I live in Leeds, West Yorkshire with my teenage son Paul and our cat Felix. For the last 3 and a half years I’ve been studying T2Gs Computer programming and Game Design course.’

‘I’ve finished the programming part of the course and am on the last optional module that I’ve chosen (Design module D15 – Seeking Employment). In addition to this, I am currently working on the C&G diploma assignments. I’ve met lots of other students through my time on the course which is a huge positive. Another highlight is meeting some of the T2G staff a few years ago at a gaming convention in London.’

‘With only one month left of the six months extension I was given to do the C&G assignments, I am definitely feeling the pressure right now and have been all year. Out of the four assignments, I only have two of them complete, with another nearly done and the fourth about at the halfway mark.’

‘Working between 8 – 10 hours per day, 7 days a week, I should be able to get the last two remaining assignments working well enough to turn in on time though. I am 100% looking forward to finishing and will be taking at least a month off to unwind once it’s all done.’

‘Currently I’m working with Atom Republic as a volunteer forum moderator. Atom Republic is made up of a small team of developers and they are currently working on Atom Universe, a social world much like PS Home was before Sony retired it.’

‘So far, it’s been a good experience. I’ve worked with their Community Manager before, which is good, as it allows a bit more rapport. We know how the other works and have similar work ethics, which really help us to work together well.’

‘Through volunteering, I’m learning the different ways to manage the gaming community and how to develop and encourage a healthy community. The moderation team is larger than I’ve worked with previously, but I would say it’s just the right size, allowing everyone to get to know each other. ‘

‘Atom Republic is currently developing Atom Universe, as I said above. It is Free to Play and is currently available to the public on PS4 and Steam, where it’s in Early Access.’

‘As for personal projects, I have a few that I’d like to work on, but they’ve been put on hold until after I’ve completed the C&G assignments.’

‘I don’t think I’ll be applying for a job with Atom Republic, just because they live outside commuting distance from where I currently live. However, the experience will most likely serve me well when I do start applying for jobs around the Leeds area.’

‘Once I’ve finished the C&G assignments, my plan is to flesh out and improve on my knowledge and ability in C# and Unity as well as C++ and DirectX 11. I plan on doing this by designing and making a game or two in each language. These will then become a part of my portfolio, with which I hope to use to get a job in either the gaming industry or in a non gaming specific programming position, if any are available. If not, I should be able to get in on the ground floor so to speak in either QA or community management.’

Atom Republic, Atom Universe http://www.atomrepublic.com/AtomUniverse/
For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com