Train2Game News Live Action Text Game in London

GamesAid today releases exclusive early bird tickets to the games industry for the live action text-based adventure interactive show The Dark Room.

Organised as a London Games Festival fringe event and hosted by GamesAid, the UK games industry charity, in partnership with the BFI Certification Unit, this one-off show will be on 10 April at BFI Southbank.

The cult hit touring the world since 2012, The Dark Room’s award-winning stand-up comedy is wedded to retro video games and fused into a deranged rock n’ roll game show where the audience play as contestants. It has been a huge success at Insomnia Gaming Expo, Runefest, EB Games Expo Australia, SFW, UK Games Expo, Soho Theatre, Gameblast, the Edinburgh Fringe, Underbelly Festival and MCM Comic Con.

Matt Spall, Chair of GamesAid said, “Expect no loot boxes, no DLC, The Dark Room is just good, old-fashioned 1980s-style torment and after its killer session for GamesAid at The Comedy Store two years ago, GamesAid is delighted to be partnering the BFI’s Certification Unit in hosting this day.”

Hosted by John Robertson, a comedian for 15 years and host of the Videogame Nation on Challenge, 2014-2016, this is how The Dark Room day works – the rules are simple:

1 – Options appear on the screen.

2 – Audience calls out the option they want.

3 – You’re either right, or dead.

4 – In the end, everybody plays!

The Dark Room reviews:

★★★★★ Sun

★★★★★ British Comedy Guide

★★★★ Den Of Geek

“NOT TO BE MISSED” – The Guardian

“Don’t miss it.” – The Daily Telegraph

“Hi, I’m Ian, I invented the thing you’re parodying.” – Ian Livingstone

Tuesday 10 April 2018
BFI Southbank – Blue Room
Doors Open at 7:30pm
Starts at 8:00pm
Ticket Price: £12.00
Tickets available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/473194/

Train2Game Grads in Game Awards

After a record year for participation in their Search for a Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star Challenges, Aardvark Swift have announced the Grads in Game Awards.

The awards are designed to recognise the individuals and institutions that have made a real impact in improving the links between the games industry and education; the studios that have made an effort in not just hiring graduates but developing their skills and nurturing their talent; and they will also recognise the students and projects that are already firmly on this path, producing exemplary work and helping those around them to achieve more.

“We’ve been running a variety of Grads in Games initiatives for almost 10 years now. After so much support from institutions, lectures and studios; we thought it was only right to highlight the academics, universities, colleges, courses and developers that are going the extra mile, actively helping students make the leap from student to professional games developer!” Sharan Bassi, Senior Graduate Recruiter at Grads in Games.

The award categories for 2018 are:

  • Academic Award: Lecturers & academics who have demonstrated a real, positive impact with their students.
  • Educational Institution Award: Universities and academic institutions that have demonstrated a real, positive impact with their students.
  • Student Award: Current students who have demonstrated a real, positive impact within their work & with their fellow students.
  • Student Game Award: Student games projects published within the past 12 months, that demonstrate a strong talent and aptitude from its developer(s).
  • Graduate Employer Award: Games companies that have demonstrated a positive and pro-active approach in hiring and supporting graduates & interns.
  • Graduate Impact Award: Recent graduates and junior staff that have exceeded expectations in a studio role.

Nominations have been opened on the Grads in Games Website and the winners will be announced at the Search for a Star Final’s Day in Sheffield on the 6th of April.

Train2Game News British Esports partners with Enemy of Boredom Academy


The British Esports Association has entered into a partnership with the Enemy of Boredom Esports (EOB) Academy, a series of workshops for young people backed by the Prince’s Trust.

The EOB Esports Academy offers education programmes for 14-30 year olds, which are designed to help young people and unemployed people learn new skills, access new opportunities and find work.

The courses aim to build confidence and provide a qualification. They promote teamwork and communication skills through League of Legends, and also include game design, journalism, 3D printing, virtual reality and social media skills.

Each workshop or course is hosted by WUWO Media, an agency which has been designing educational programmes for the creative industries since 2012.

EOB Esports Academy Watford has been in operation since May 2017, while the London Academy opened in September 2017. Another academy will launch in Birmingham in 2018.

Enemy of Boredom is also planning on hosting after-school clubs for younger pupils as well as holiday clubs. In addition, it’s running a one-week game design course in Peterborough in October, including Rocket League training.

WUWO Media is also working on the EOB League, a grassroots esports schools league for secondary schools and 6th forms, which will start with four schools in South London taking part.

The initiative aligns well with the British Esports Association – the not-for-profit national body set up to support grassroots esports – which held a series of esports clubs for children in the summer at Maida Vale Library, promoting communication, teamwork and cognitive skills.

The British Esports Association will be working with WUWO Media/EOB to help shape and promote the academies and to give talks at events. In particular, the association’s projects executive Rob Allen – who has extensive League of Legends coaching experience – will be working closely with the workshops.

Steven Godwin, creator of the Enemy of Boredom Esports Academy, commented: “It’s a great feeling to be teaming up with others to create a positive and strengthened future. WUWO Media’s EOB Esports Academy is delighted to be partnering with the British Esports Association.

“We share a common goal, and that’s to promote esports, educate young people and provide grassroots participation. Having the knowledge and skills available from British Esports helps the young people at the EOB Esports Academy build confidence, gain qualifications and gain careers.”

Andy Payne OBE, chair of the British Esports Association, added: “The work of Enemy of Boredom is important and aligns well with our goals at the British Esports Association – to promote, improve and inspire.

“Getting people interested and involved in esports from a young age can not only help bolster the industry in the long-term, but it also gives something positive back to the community, promoting teamwork, communication and development.”

The Prince’s Trust said in a statement: “We are delighted to partner with WUWO Media on their EOB Esports Academy to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to forge a career in the esports, digital and cyber industries. By attending events, hearing from guest speakers and learning from experts, this course will inspire the group and open their eyes to different employment opportunities within the digital world.”

Train2Game News Yorkshire Games Festival

yorkshire-games-festival-2017

The Yorkshire Games Festival returns for its second year, once again showcasing some of the greatest talent and titles from across the videogames spectrum, as well as providing gamers and budding game makers unrivalled access to the industry.

The festival, organised and run by the National Science and Media Museum, offers insights into all aspects of the games industry, from studios such as the award-winning TT Games, Frontier Developments, Criterion Games and Naughty Dog, as well as hosting live shows and events such as WiFi Wars and the Let’s Play! Weekend, which features a wealth of games and activities.

Yorkshire Games Festival 2107 is proud to welcome back Bradford College as its Headline Sponsor, and, for the first time, will dedicate a day to school groups as it increases its scope for inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the many aspects of videogame design, development and coding.

Festival director, Kathryn Penny, said: “Last year was a fantastic success, which we’ll be building on this year as we once again welcome some of the top studios, games designers and developers from around the world, the UK and Yorkshire, to share their experience and advice, and of course, demo some games. I think we’ve included something for anyone interested in videogames, and we’ll hopefully inspire a few future stars.”

Schools Day: 8 Nov

This year’s Yorkshire Games Festival kicks off with a day dedicated to school groups. Pupils will get access to specially created talks, workshops and activities covering all the elements that make a great game, from coding to storytelling and design. This day is for education groups only – booking details can be found at https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/learning .

Delegate Programme: 9 and 10 Nov

Highlights for the Delegate Programme start with an insight into the UK-based studio responsible for some of the most iconic games in recent memory, as Arthur Parsons, Head of Design at TT Games, discusses his lead role on various titles within the LEGO videogame franchise, including the LEGO Marvel series, LEGO Batman series, LEGO Harry Potter series and many other familiar titles. Arthur will also delve into the making of his current game, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new, original adventure scheduled to launch in the UK on November 17.

Tracy Spaight has worked in the industry since 2005 under many guises from project specialist to game developer. He now acts as Director of Special Projects at Wargaming.net, the developers and publishers of the World of Tanks online game, and will be talking about bringing history alive through gaming, AR and VR and the World of Tanks phenomenon.

Frontier Developments’ Louise McLennan and Sebastian Hickey will be revealing all about the development of BAFTA nominated Elite Dangerous – the latest (and some say, greatest) version of the legendary space combat and trading game from UK games luminary David Braben OBE. Louise started her career at Disney Interactive and is now the lead UI designer on Jurassic World Evolution. Sebastian, an alumni of the University of Bradford, is the lead UI designer on Elite Dangerous.

YGF 2017 is a homecoming for Iki Ikram, the award-winning VFX Artist, as he started his career more than 25 years ago while studying Graphic Design at Bradford College. Iki will be giving the festival’s keynote presentation on his work as an FX Artist at Naughty Dog and how visual effects were used to build an impactful narrative in games such as Uncharted 3, Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us, as well as other work on titles such as the PlayStation’s EyeToy, Singstar, The Getaway, and the Killzone series. This session is presented by Bradford College.

Legendary composer and musician David Wise has been producing game soundtracks since 1987, including many of UK developer Rare’s classics such as Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country and Diddy Kong Racing. More recently, Wise has composed music for Sheffield developer Sumo Digital’s Snake Pass and for Playtonic Games’ smash hit platformer Yooka-Laylee. He will be discussing some of his most famous works and giving advice to any musicians interested in making soundtracks for videogames.

Kieran Crimmins and James Svensson from Criterion Games will host a session on their development work as Art Director and Producer respectively for Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission. They’ll be discussing how they recreated the Star Wars universe in virtual reality, along with a few of their trade secrets, including how to hide a Star Destroyer!

Other guests include Phil Duncan and Oli De-Vine, aka indie development team Ghost Town Games, whose debut game Overcooked was made from their lounge and recently took home the BAFTA for Best Family Game and Best British Game.

Let’s Play! 11 and 12 Nov

This year introduces the festival’s Let’s Play! weekend, with a host of activities designed for families and gamers of all ages.

The two-day event includes the Yorkshire Games Showcase, as the regional games industry descends on the National Science and Media Museum, bringing the best in new, upcoming and under-the-radar titles. As part of the showcase, Creative England’s GamesLab Leeds programme will be offering advice and demonstrating some of the projects they have funded across the Leeds City Region. Elsewhere Videogames, But… shows the diversity of the medium with small, experimental and unusual, yet beautifully formed games.

The Museum also welcomes back the Impact Gamers LiVE! show to the Museum’s Pictureville Cinema (Saturday only – tickets £2/£3), which takes audience participation to a new level, inspiring children to get involved in games and coding. The Impact Gamers team will also be bringing along their homemade arcade games – all created by young people from Bradford (free to play).

The Yorkshire Games Festival is produced by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with the games business network Game Republic.
Ticketed events are now on sale via www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/yorkshiregamesfestival

Train2Game News Esports not a sport

“Esports is not a sport, but a credible activity in its own right,” the British Esports Association has said.
Following last week’s reporting by the BBC – The State of Sport week – many listeners and readers have debated whether esports (electronic sports) is an actual sport or not.

Some have argued that esports should be classified as a sport partly because recognising it officially would grant it access to sports funding. However, esports is competitive video gaming: it is currently classified in the UK as a game (like chess and bridge) and not a sport.

The British Esports Association is also keen to emphasise that when done in moderation, esports can have positive cognitive, social and communicative benefits.

It can help to increase perceptual skills, decision making, reaction times and multitasking, and help stimulate brain growth. Playing and watching esports is very engaging to younger audiences, and esports is also a beneficial alternative to watching passive media like television.

Attempts have been made in the past to classify certain games, such as bridge, as a sport in the UK, and having learned from these experiences, the British Esports Association feels that the time is not right for such action for esports. Instead, we want to focus on educating the Government, media and general public on making sure esports gains the credibility it deserves and move away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate.

British Esports founder and CEO Chester King said: “I can see why there is a bit of confusion as millions of people play and watch esports; there are many professional teams, managers, coaches and tournaments. There is no international standard classification either as in some countries such as Poland, esports, chess and bridge are classified as sports.

“The ‘sport’ in esports may be misleading, but like traditional sports, competitive video gaming involves training, long-term dedication, determination, exceptional skills and reaction times, teamwork and coordination, and fun for all the spectators, casters, commentators and fans involved.”

In the UK, the British Esports Association positions esports as a modern mind game, celebrated at all levels of play which should not rival or replace traditional sports.

King added: “It’s time to get away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate and start realising esports’ true benefits and potential.

“Whether or not esports is or is not a sport does not change the fact that the esports industry has enormous creative potential. We must educate audiences to realise its benefits, such as gaining cyber skills and the many career paths it offers, like becoming a professional player, commentator, journalist, manager, or coach.”

Train2Game News Women in Games Ambassador programme 

Women in Games, the not for profit, games industry diversity organisation, today announced the launch of its Ambassador programme, sponsored by Women Techmakers, with 43 individual Ambassadors from across the UK and Europe supporting women and girls in understanding the games industry and the opportunities there are within it.
The Ambassador programme from Women in Games exists to grow the membership of the organisation, to help it increase the reach and scale of its programmes and help it achieve the strategic goal of doubling the number of women in games over 10 years.

Ambassadors are expected to reach out to young women at school, college and university locally in their region to encourage them to consider the games industry as a career. They will also reach out to the local public, regional industry and educational leaders and local government to form partnerships and long term strategic relationships.

Google’s Women Techmakers initiative provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology, implementing global scalable initiatives to support and empower women in the industry.

The first Ambassadors for Women in Games are announced today as Alex Jones, Jade Leamcharaskul, Amelia James, Rhoda Daly, Steph McStea, Leoni Smith, Rory Jackson, Terri Mardel, Alex Grahame, Catherine Wooley, Jessica Curry, Adrienne Law, Amanda Blatch, Amrita Bharij, Amy Parish, Amy Yu, Ashley Riza, Becky Jowsey, Bex Edmondson, Carleigh Morgan, Chella Ramanan, Gareth Johns, Hazel Turnbull, Jess Magnus, Jodie Azhar, Karen Cham, Karen Hedger, Kate Killick, Laurence Bouvard, Liz Mercuri, Lorraine Ansell, Maria Fernandes-Hermida, Martine Spaans, Michael Corinus, Michelle Tilley, Monique Boddington, Nida Ahmad, Nika Droravic, Rachael Gregg-Smyth, Sandra Chau, Sharon Toliani-Sage, Tabitha Huchon and Timea Tabori.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented: “We are delighted to have the support of Google’s Women Techmakers for the launch of our Women in Games Ambassador programme. During our 2016 European Women in Games Conference I ran a workshop to initiate this scheme and the enthusiasm and drive of the individuals who attended was extraordinary. We are extremely excited to see what our Ambassadors will achieve and confident that this initiative will have substantial impact in supporting us with our strategic goals.”

Rupert Whitehead, Developer Relations Programs Lead, UK, Ireland and Netherlands at Google said: “Women Techmakers and Google are proud to support the Women in Games Ambassador programme. This will grow awareness of the amazing variety of opportunities that are available for women in technology in what is a thriving and creative games industry. Seeing women already in these roles sharing their story is a powerful way of achieving this.”

Train2Game News GameBlast17 

Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect have set the countdown clock running for GameBlast17, the UK’s biggest charity gaming weekend.
The event, held over the weekend of 24-26 February, aims to raise £100,000 to support the work of the charity in helping people with disabilities to access and benefit from video games.

Over 100 individuals and teams of gamers from around the world have already signed up to fundraise through their own gaming marathons and gaming events during the three days.

Many major names in the video games industry are backing the event, including GAME, Multiplay, Twitch, FACEIT, Insert Coin and ukie, alongside a host of eSports teams, streamers and studios.

GAME are planning a 24-hour livestream event from their headquarters and will also be running a number of fundraising initiatives via their UK stores. Other planned activities include charity streams from Ripstone Games, Wired Productions and even a 72 hour Zeldathon.

“We can’t wait for GameBlast17” said Tom Donegan, the charity’s Events Coordinator.

“It’s incredible to see how the event has grown over the past four years. The funds raised will enable us to help more like John (http://bit.ly/2gDZxF4), who never thought he’d be able to play video games again because his condition stopped him using a standard controller.”

“GameBlast17 is an opportunity to bring people together to do what they love and level the playing field for people with disabilities at the same time.”

“This is the ideal time to sign-up and start planning your event, and we’re inviting everyone from the global gaming community and industry to join us.”

More details about GameBlast17 can be found at https://www.gameblast17.com or on Twitter @gameblast2017

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

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

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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.’

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 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.’

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

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