Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Tarnya Smith

Tarnya SmithI got the pleasure of talking to Train2Game student, Tarnya Smith, who already has a years experience in the games industry after leaving university and she now works at Distinctive Games who have just released the popular Rugby Nations ’13. You can find out what she has worked on and how she got to where she is now in the interview.

You can listen to the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1473120-train2game-student-radio-talks-to-tarnya-smith

Or read the transcript below

My name’s Tarnya Smith, I live in Sheffield and I’m doing the Designer course.

Hiya Tarnya, how you doing?

I’m good thank you, how are you?

I’m alright thank you very muchly. So tell me a bit about yourself then?

I started off playing games when I was a kid, with my brother, that’s how I got in to it. I did creative kind of stuff through university and things like that and when I finished university last year I was given the chance to work as a tester for Sega in London, so I kinda took that with both hands and that’s where it started really. Then I got the opportunity to come up to Sheffield, up here, to work for Sumo, which was doing the Sonic game at the time and I got a job here at Distinctive, as a tester as well, and I moved up here permanently because I was living in London at the time.

You’ve had quite a wealth of experience already then?

Yeah, I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had a years experience straight off the bat, which is quite hard to come by but I work hard so I think that shows and I’ve always wanted to do, creative stuff. I didn’t really want to go back to university because I didn’t really enjoy it the first time around and I’ve always wanted to be a games designer so I thought I would do the Train2Game thing and see how that went.

Did you finish your university course then or did you just think that’s enough once you got the job opportunities?

No I finished, I finished back in May, but the testing job came straight up. I got given that at the end of July so I went straight into that after university.

Is that one you applied for or did they come and seek you out?

No, I know quite a lot of friends who work there and I never really thought about it before but then they started taking on a big bunch of testers so I went for it and got the job.

Very nice. What Sonic game was it you worked on?

Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed.

Oh was it? I do like that game, it is fun!

Well I’m glad because we worked hard on it! Yeah I really enjoyed working on it, it was great fun and I still play it from time to time.

Excellent. It does certainly have replayability a lot.

Oh god yeah!

So, you said you’re at Distinctive Games now. What are you working on there?

We’ve just completed the Rugby Nations ’13 that’s just come out. At the minute I’m just working on patches for old games that need updating for the new iOS and so on, but there are some projects coming out in the future that obviously, I can’t talk about but there good, I’m enjoying it.

Excellent, so are you a fan of Rugby then or is that just something you ended up working on anyway?

I was actually a big fan. I used to live near Twickenham, so I used to go to Twickenham Stadium when I got the chance but I’m not really a big fan of Sports all round but it’s fine!

Just what ever you can get your hands on really?

Yeah pretty much, it’s all good!

Are you a tester at Distinctive now?

Yeah, I’m a tester, yeah.

So do you think they’ll be an opportunity for you to move up to a designer instead soon?

Well I hope so, at some point.

Is that the main aim? I assume

Well, I’m quite happy to be a tester for a while, it’s not that it’s a problem but obviously my aim long term is to be a designer somewhere. So if I can get in here that’ll be awesome but you know, where ever life takes you.

You seem very relaxed with it all

Yeah, I just think I’m really lucky to get into something I’m really passionate about so I am just enjoying whatever I can get out of it, I’m not going to start stressing that I’m not getting the job I want straight away because that never happens.

That is a very good attitude to have

Yeah, so I am enjoying it and I am just going to try and enjoy it for as long as possible.

Excellent. So it sounds like you’ve had quite a good life already then!

I just think, the last year or so, I’ve been quite lucky and I’ve got to know some people that know people. It’s who you are that opens paths for you. I’ve been in the community a few years now and you do get to know people.

Perfect, well I think that’s all we’ve got time for today

Awesome.

So thanks very much for talking to us!

You’re very welcome!

Train2Game News: Rugby Nations 13

Rugby Nations 13The biggest rugby game for smart phones and tablets is back and aims to grow its existing 2.5m fans with new features including professional commentary and improved rugby simulation.

Distinctive Games launches the fourth instalment of the biggest rugby title for the smart phone and tablet, Rugby Nations 13. The series has gone from strength-to-strength since its creation in 2009, new features include: Commentary from Sky Sports’ Bill Leslie, improved visuals and animations with guidance from ex-professional rugby player James Waterhouse and increased accuracy and realism of the rugby simulation, directly requested by players of previous games in the franchise.

Powered by the Phoenix engine, the astonishing visuals and incredibly fluid game play of Rugby Nations 13, propel your rugby experience to new heights. Charge into the action with all-new set play mechanics, offload passing and strategically increase your scoring potential using the in-game team management to ensure only the fittest make the pack.

Rugby Nations is one of Distinctive Games major franchises, to date it has released four games in the series that have been played by over 2.5m players. Rugby Nations 13 will the 5th in the series and will be released accompanied by Rugby Kicks 2, a free rugby flicking game which will be available a few weeks after Rugby Nations 13 is released. Rugby Nations 13 will be launched exclusively on iOS with plans for release on additional formats later in the year.

The Distinctive Games team have a huge amount of experience in creating sports games, having previously worked with the biggest sports IPs in gaming and now with over 30 million people playing their sports titles. The franchise has achieved over 2.5m downloads, is the #1 rugby game for smartphones/tablets and has featured in the top 10 sports games on Appstores, with Rugby Nations 2011 reaching #1 within two days of release.

Distinctive games have also recently employed Tarnya Smith, a Train2Game student who worked on this years Rugby Nations game. We will catch up with her soon to find out about her experiences with Distinctive Games.

Nick Dent, Creative Director, Distinctive Games, said: “We’re all huge fans of sports and sporting games at Distinctive Games, so it’s great to bring the latest version of Rugby Nations to our enthusiastic and passionate fan base. We’ve taken a lot of time to look over reviews of the previous titles by the players and improve aspects of the game they have specified. We’ve also been continuing to work with ex-professional rugby player James Waterhouse to improve the realism of the game. With professional commentary by Bill Leslie this is the biggest and best Rugby Nations to date.”

Distinctive Games recently won the Windows 8 “Power Up” gaming App competition. To find out more visit the Distinctive Games website at www.distinctivegames.com.