Train2Game News Derp Studios update by Chris Ledger

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This year’s been really busy, but we have achieved many things! 

We’ve managed to sign a contract to create a licensed app for a well known company.  We are delighted to be given this opportunity!

We’ve also got another contract going in creating a social game with for a local business.

Unfortunately we cannot disclose any information at this time about either of those projects but you can stay up to date with us at www.derpstudios.com or www.facebook.com/derpstudios, where we will announce it sooner or later (those blasted non disclosures eh!?).

As some of you may be aware, a few months ago we announced that we were rebooting and re-branding Dire Consequences!

We do have a tech demo, which we scraped together in a month long game jam using Unreal Engine 4. The tech demo itself is only a taster of what’s in store for you guys, it can be located at our website http://derpstudios.com/games/dire_consequences/.  We do like to show as much of our developments as possible without spoiling the game and I can certainly say we have a lot of confidence in the title!

So why did we choose to reboot Dire Consequences?

Good question.  It was one of the first, first person, magic and melee action games of its kind on mobile and was quite well received.  We also had some previous marketing done with it for Make Something Unreal Live 2012.

Since MSUL 2012 we’ve had a good number of projects on our plate, but none of them has compared to the sheer awesomeness of Dire Consequences. 

Unfortunately due to licensing issues, the original MSUL 2012 Dire Consequences candidate was taken off the iOS market after a month or so, which left all of us at Derp Studios feeling very emotional.

A lot of hours, or should I say months were put into the game and the fact we couldn’t release our hard work and for a lot of us, our first game onto the mobile marketplaces…well it was heartbreaking to say the least.  Especially since we were the only teams in the competition at the time to successfully ship their game.

To show you can’t keep a good man/woman down, we are re-branding Dire Consequences and making it bigger and better than ever before.  We are currently targeting the PC market, however there will be a time in the future where we will look into getting some “Classic Consequences” (our nickname for the original Make Something Unreal Live 2012 candidate) on to mobile, however the PC version comes first.

Also I’d like to take the chance to say a massive thank you to all of those who have contributed to making Derp Studios the way it is today.  I would list you all in here but I think it would be best to throw a link in so I don’t take up too much precious screen revenue! http://derpstudios.com/about/derp-team-members/

So without further ado, here is some of the artwork (some of which is work in progress) that has been produced by our amazing artists Nicole Nixon and Gabi Schultz, who have helped shape the games design tremendously!

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: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1073130-train2game-student-sam-hawkins-talks-to-mark-on-t2g-radio

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
Bye

Train2Game News: Chris Ledger talks to T2G Radio

Chris Ledger spoke to me about the rise of Derp Studios and having their game released on the app store.

You can hear the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1062901-train2game-chris-ledger-talks-to-mark-on-t2g-radio

Or read the transcript below

Hey I’m Chris Ledger, I’m on the Train2Game Designer course and I live in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

What’s your story? What are the past experiences that have shaped your life to who you are today?

The Train2Game design course even in its early stages did. I managed to do a few Portfolio Pieces, A High Concept Document and other working style documents. I managed to show that to a small iPhone developer and my first project that I worked on was licensed. The second one was the Game Jam in 2011, which was hosted by Train2Game and Epic Games. I was chosen as an individual to make the fourth team to go on to Make Something Unreal Live where we worked on a project which used the Fighting Fantasy license. The company, Derp Studios, which was The Gadget Show Live Team, just released their first title, Dire Consequences on the iOS store.

Tell us a bit about the game

The game, it’s a first person action game. It’s a wave game for iOS and you can buy optional spells, the more enemies you defeat you get souls. You can use the souls to get spells to help you through the waves. That’s the gist of it really. At one point, I nicknamed it horde with swords because it’s a wave mode like Gears so I thought horde with swords was the best way to describe it.

That’s a good way to describe it I think. So is this work for you now? Is this what you do for a job?

I did make Derp Studios a limited company in, I guess around April time, just after Gadget Show Live I think. We are planning to go ahead and make it a business and earn a bit of money from it, which will be nice. Even though it’s still like a hobby it feels but we do want to make money out of it as well.

How did you get that to happen?

There’s websites you can actually go through to register as a company. It doesn’t actually cost a lot. Well it can build up over time because you’ve got to get all the documents. I used a website called TheCompanyWarehouse.co.uk which is quite good. I actually signed the company up for a pound but you’ve got to pay for other things like helping you with documents and things because there is loads to do to set up a company, more than you’d ever imagine.

Do you think Derp Studios will enter the Power Up competition by Microsoft and if you do, do you have any early game ideas yet?

We would like to try that. We have been discussing it I can’t really say for certain if we’ll go ahead and do that. I know we do want to make a second project so that will start quite soon.

One thing that I have always wondered is why did you end up calling the studio Derp Studios?

Oh no, explaining this again! People usually ask that. Well in the early stages we didn’t know what to call ourselves and we were unknown for a while. Because we are all quite new to making games, we kept making mistakes and would say “Oh that’s a Derp mistake”. The most common phrase was “Oh Derp”. So it just kind of went from there.

What is your reason for getting into the gaming industry and how do you think getting into the games industry will change your life?

Well it’s changed my life already but I have always wanted to be in the gaming industry, ever since I was about 8 or something. I just wanted to give something back really to the gaming community and actually live out the dream of becoming a designer that I’ve had since a very early age.

How is Dire Consequences doing on the iOS App Store?

Better than I thought it would to be honest. I forget how big the iOS market is. We shoved it out there and we were over the moon when it was actually on sale. We had some quite good reviews but our average rating is 2 stars but I thought we are quite novice still and it is still quite buggy. People have been pointing it out, issues that they would like to see resolved and how we can improve it, which is absolutely great hearing feedback from a customer audience that have actually played it and experienced it, so that’s proven quite valuable. I think in the first week we have had three thousand downloads.

That’s Excellent. Thank you very much for your time Chris!

No Problem.

Train2Game News: Dire Consequences for App Store

After eleven months in development, Derp Studios game has hit the App Store. The game was made for the Make Something Unreal Live contest in April this year.

Following on from the 2011 Game Jam four teams went on to compete in the Make Something Unreal live which took place at The Gadget show in April. The four teams were the winners of the contest, Commando Kiwi, A team I was a part of, Digital Mage, Indigo Jam and Derp Studios.

From January to April the teams worked relentlessly on their games which were based on the Fighting Fantasy IP of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. The books from the series in particular that were chosen was: The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain, Armies Of Death, Deathtrap Dungeon and Citadel of Chaos. The last of these is the book Derp Studios worked on.

The game, Dire Consequences, is a first-person action game by Derp Studios, and sees players take on waves of enemies to collect souls and progress their character for new spells. The game is currently only available for iOS devices.

The Gadget Show Live was a life defining moment for many of the Train2Game students involved, including myself and having to do some research in to the whole event to fill in some gaps in my memory was a lovely journey. I am so pleased one of the teams got their game uploaded as they were all amazing games and the whole event really kick-started our careers.

A massive congratulations to Derp Studios and I urge all those with access to an iOS device to go and download the free game immediately!