Train2Game students create licensed Tactical Objectives App for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 table-top game
Derp Studios to release officially licensed App to accompany latest version of popular sci-fi battle game
Independent Video Games and Apps developer, Derp Studios, has created a tactical objectives App to accompany the Warhammer 40,000 board game. The team which includes Train2Game students has been working with Games Workshop to create the App.
The App has been designed to assist in playing the latest version of the popular table top game, offering a digital version of tactical objectives cards which previously were only available on limited edition print runs. This is one of the first ever officially licensed Tactical Objectives Apps which supports the Warhammer 40,000 board game.
Derp Studios join prestigious companies already working with Games Workshop and Warhammer. Games publisher THQ are an official licensee of the popular brand. The company also creates a series of figures based on JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy in association with Warner Brothers.
Games Workshop was founded in 1975 in Nottingham is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The incredibly successful UK based company declared revenues of £119.1m in May 2015 for the previous fiscal year.
Train2Game spoke with Derp Studios CEO, Chris Ledger, about the App and working with this incredibly popular brand.
Chris Ledger, CEO and Lead Designer of Derp Studios, “Derp Studios was formed late 2011 during Make Something Unreal Live 2012 hosted by Train2Game and Epic Games, where we developed a mobile title based on the Fighting Fantasy IP. Since then we’ve done a couple of self-funded projects and most recently we have become Games Workshop Licensees!”
“The team is made up of core team members and contributors, some Train2Game and some not associated. Both Max Dymond and I are Train2Game students. Max is studying the Art and Animation course and I studied Game Design. I quite enjoyed my course. It was documentation heavy and there was plenty to keep me going. I haven’t technically finished the course as of yet since I’ve been running my own studio, however the course definitely helped show the ropes. Applying that knowledge to the real world has certainly got me places. Also, to those students that are torn between study and finding a job in the industry, its okay to put the course on hold, its flexible learning and you can always come back to it.”
Creation of the App
“The Warhammer 40,000: Tactical Objectives App is one of the first hobby Apps to directly support the Warhammer 40,000 table-top board game. The aim of the App is to enable players who don’t have a physical copy of either the regular or faction based Tactical Objectives cards to be able to own their factions deck, since the physical copies are on limited print runs. So the app is fairly niche as it appeals to Warhammer 40,000 table-top players, however that doesn’t mean the target audience is small in any way!”
“A few other companies have tried their hands at hobby apps with their own IP’s and there are a few third party apps as well like army list builders and dice rollers being the most common. Some have worked out well, others not so well. The WH40k: Tactical Objectives app is the equivalent to the game’s physical tactical objective cards in every way, only digitalised and the maths calculated for you when you score points, draw, discard and achieve objectives.”
“Originally players had to roll 2 D6 (or a D66, two 6 sided dice), to generate objectives from the rulebook each turn. You had to re-roll any duplicate objectives though which could get frustrating and you then had to make a note of which ones you had. The physical cards sped that process up and the app further speeds things up by calculating points and adhering to parameters, as well as meeting the demand of players wanting faction based tactical objectives, which as I mentioned before are on limited print cycles.”
“I got sick of rolling D66’s and I used my uber documentation skills and fortunate position in running my own game dev team to write up some high concepts and pitches, which I then sent off to the Games Workshop licensing team who loved the idea.”
“So for all you game designers/app designers out there. Documentation is still important! Don’t shrug it off as it can get you places!”
Games Workshop/Warhammer 40,000
“The relationship with Games Workshop began during the beginning of Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition which was released at the end of last year (2014). The Maelstrom of War missions were the thing everyone was playing (and are still playing today). I wanted to get myself some regular tactical objective cards but they sold out like hot cakes, especially since they were only a fiver.”
“Games Workshop are really good work alongside with. They’ve been really supportive and have provided a lot of assets for us to use. So far it’s been nothing but positive and a really enjoyable experience!”
“We get given digital assets for use in the app which have been originally made for print runs. So when we get some huge art pieces, I usually sit there mesmerised by all the detail.”
“I have recently visited their HQ in Nottingham, which is also home to Warhammer World, a museum of over 200,000 miniatures, featuring some MASSIVE insanely detailed dioramas. Also the fact Black Library, Games Workshop and Forgeworld and a massive gaming hall are all in the same room, I was truly the definition of a kid in a candy store. My wallet is still burning. On the plus side, my Tau Empire army has some awesome Forgeworld models in it now!”
“For Derp Studios this app alone is a big milestone in the company! I’m not sure what the future holds for more hobby apps within the Warhammer 40,000 IP, however if I’m unable to produce another hobby app then I’d happily make a small licensed video game for them.”
“The app is nearly finished; it’s just being polished up lots and constant testing of in app purchases and things like that. It’s released later this quarter.”
“I’d like to keep working alongside Games Workshop. They really appreciate what we’re doing and we’re extremely grateful for being accepted as licensees. I have some ideas of what I would like to do but nothing solid at the moment.”
“I’m always writing down designs and ideas and to keep my skills sharp in Unreal Engine 4 I usually dabble with reconstructing a Dire Consequences remake, which I’m pretty pleased about.”
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