Train2Game News Student Studios work together

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Two Train2Game student studios have worked together for a mutually beneficial project.

The student studios studying with Train2Game have joined forces to release game Two Souls on free to play 3D gaming website: Gamonaut. A Lite version of the game developed by Derp Studios is exclusively available on Icey Monty’s popular gaming website.

The partnership has come together as both studios won a Swan PR Train2Game competition to gain free PR for a month.

Gamonaut developed by Icey Monty has around 1/2million plays on its site to date and its numbers are rapidly growing. Two Souls is one of Derp Studio’s many popular gaming releases, the full version of the game is now available to buy on Android and Windows 8 mobile, with planned release on iOS in the near future.

Nick Walker, Director, Icey Monty, said: “Two Souls has an original mechanic that makes it challenging and gives players a new experience. It’s perfect for the web and mobile markets. Derp has been brilliant, both in terms of getting the game ready and with the teams enthusiasm for the cooperation. We’re excited about giving Two Souls more outreach, and that ends up being mutually beneficial.”

Christopher Ledger, CEO, Derp Studios: “With John and Nick’s experience with building web games combined with our knowledge of games, I think we can cover a lot of audiences on both PC and mobile.  We’ve made a totally exclusive version of Two Souls for Gamonaut, dedicated to players using the keyboard. The levels are unique, so when players buy the game on mobile they will have fresh new content.”

These two joining forces is an excellent example of Train2Game students supporting one another to further their careers.

Two Souls is now available Available on Android
Pro:  Here
Lite:  Here

Available now on Windows PHONE 8:
Pro:  Here
Lite:  Here

Train2Game News Gamonaut hits big numbers

GamonautOnline gaming website Gamonaut is flying high just a month after the site went live, reaching over half a MILLION plays in March 2014.

The team behind this winning formula are Train2Game student studio Icey Monty. They release at least an exclusive title per week. Popular titles on the site include the park it 3D series: Drunk Parking and Ambulance.

The Gamonaut team is made up of three Directors with Development support. John Esslemont (24) and Nick Walker (20) are based in the UK and Romano Zagoršćak (30) is based in Croatia. The international team have an average age of around just 25. Nick and John are actually still studying with distance learning provider Train2Game which is how they met.

John Esslemont, Director, said: “I thought about creating Gamonaut after working on a client’s game, I was wondering how they’re able to support themselves and started talking with the client. It was Romano who came forward with the idea of a joint venture, Game development + Web portal just made sense.”

Nick Walker, Director, said: “I think the combination of our skillsets has allowed us to drive the site forward. Romano’s expertise in everything related to games portals and publishing, combined with the skills we’ve learned doing client work over the past couple of years allows us to make quality games that brand a genuinely good site. There is fierce competition, but we work extremely hard to get our standard of quality up to the high levels.”

Director Romano Zagoršćak, said:  “We definitely have a bunch of plans for the future. First of all we’ll continue making even better games. We plan to expand to mobile markets and further build up website audience. There’s always room for improvement and we strive towards that in our work – site, strategy, game ideas, development practices and basically everything.”

Play the latest and best free 3D games available at http://www.gamonaut.com/

Train2Game News Winners of PR Competition Announced

Swan PRIcey Monty and Derp Studios scoop a month’s free PR in Swan PR Competition. Train2Game student studios beat stiff competition to win free PR services from the leading technology and gaming PR firm.

Judges couldn’t separate the two potential winners of The Swan PR competition, deciding the best thing to do was to have two winners. Both studios will now have PR packages designed for them and Swan PR’s support for a month of PR activity. Icey Monty wowed the judges with its online games website Gamonaut, which releases a new title every week. Whereas Derp Studios impressed the judges with its 2 Souls game, which has players controlling two characters in a platform puzzler.

Harry Cole, Operations Director, Swan PR: “When we launched the competition we didn’t know what to expect from the students, but as soon as the entries began to come in, we were delighted at the standard across the board. We selected Derp Studios and Icey Monty as their titles were what we would describe as ‘ready to go to market,’ we played the games and straight away saw their potential. We can’t wait to start working with both teams.”

Christopher Ledger, CEO, Derp Studios: “We are extremely happy to be joint winners with Icey Monty (well done guys!), it has been a challenging few weeks. We would like to say a massive thank you to Nicola and Darroch for their hard work on developing such a great title and seizing the opportunity to use this competition as a boost to our studios success.”

Nick Walker, Director, Icey Monty: “We’re extremely grateful for the fantastic opportunity that Train2Game and SwanPR have generously awarded us. We would also like to congratulate Derp Studios, as they deserve this success. It’s a humbling surprise to all of us at Icey Monty Ltd, including our partner at Gamonaut. We look forward to the coming month!”

The Swan PR team will be taking the studio’s games to UK press for reviews and features, as well as advising on social media. The studio’s creations will feature in blogs and on websites, getting the much needed publicity that will result in titles getting in the hands of gamers. Introductions will also be made to business connections to give the teams further support in releasing their titles.

Watch this space as Swan PR will continue to announce more details of the winning studio’s games.

Train2Game News: Icey Monty launch second gaming site

GamonautTrain2Game Student Studio Icey Monty has again expanded their online empire and have launched another new gaming site.

Joining their previous site www.shooter3dgames.com which is full of the best browser based shooter games they have now released www.gamonaut.com to house all styles of game and is a perfect house for their own games the studio releases.

Icey Monty has been going from strength to strength over the past year with getting work from Strongbow and releasing their gaming portals. They are a true inspiration for other Train2Game students and studios.

It seems nothing can stop this young studio from rising. Congratulations on the site launch guys.

Train2Game News: A Game Changer – Guest Blog by John Esslemont

Icey MontyI think games need to change and take a new direction very soon and with the new generation of consoles hopefully that will happen.

Lately I have been getting very bored with games because, in my eyes. it is the same games over and over with the same story but different art and this just plain annoys me as I know what is coming. There are games out there that are pushing the boundaries and I wish everyone would jump on this bandwagon as it can only help the development of games as a medium.

Everyone knows the new COD and BF4 are now out and after playing them they still have their addictiveness with you wanting to beat your friends, but the game is the exact same as every other before it. What happened with the stories as well? In the first call of duty the story was awesome, it was real events and you saw/felt the realities of war, now it is the biggest joke I have ever seen. In most games now this isn’t the case they are coming out with more and more ways to make it fun which I understand but why not keep things a bit more realistic and take things from history or at least some forms of history, in my opinion this would make these games a lot better as you can actually relate to these events.

I have recently been playing KSP(Kerbal Space Programme) and this game is just awesome, it is truly unique. I have never seen a game like this before and this is where I think games need to head. We all need to be unique and different in many ways to create new kinds of games to keep things fresh. This is why I love some of the things indies are doing.

Very recently I have been thinking about war and the realistic cases of it, I watched a documentary called “This Is War” and this truly opened my eyes to what is going on in the middle east and what is even more scary are the predator drones, these things are fire and forget. I found out that most of these are controller with a 360 controller which is freaking awesome BUT I think this makes it more like a game and pulls people away from the reality of what they are doing. If the people controlling these machines, which are designed to kill people, are behind a screen do they actually see what they are doing to people? Do they actually see a weapon or is it a spade?

I have decided to create a game based on these facts where you control either a predator, AC130, or an Apache and you get given a target (normal game scenario) and you must take him out. I don’t want the players to think about collateral damage at all then at some point in the game I want to show them what they done with looking through a screen and not actually seeing what the people they killed where doing or who they were. I hope this game will be a shock and awe type of game that will open people’s eyes to what is actually happening. I hope to release this in around 3-6 months as I want it to feel as close as possible to a real world scenario.

Train2Game News: Icey Monty’s new gaming website

Shooter3dGamesTrain2Game Student Studio, Icey Monty, have expanded their company even further and are now the proud owners of a gaming portal.

John Esslemont and Nick Walker started work for the gaming site last month and have since been hand picking their favourite online titles to be featured on the site. The page already features a treasure trove of shooting games from around the web in one helpful place.

When asked why they decided to start this site Nick said “A client of ours, who owns a few similar sites, suggested the idea to us after we’d finished some work with him. We’d been discussing the idea of moving away from client work to pursue our own development ideas anyway, and with that in mind, the investment in a new website seemed appropriate.”

This is Icey Monty’s first big step from their current client work to developing their own games and ideas. They now have a ready made platform they can publish too without any hassle. In my opinion the guys have made an excellent choice.

You can view the site and enjoy all of the carefully hand picked shooting games at Icey Monty’s new website, www.shooter3dgames.com

Train2Game News: Icey Monty featured in Newmarket News

Icey MontyThe success of Train2Game student studio, Icey Monty, has been noticed by studio founder Nick Walker’s local paper, Newmarket News.

The article in the paper talks about the success the young studio have been having lately and their recent partnership with Strongbow.

You can read the article in the link below.

Train2Game Student News Icey Monty Newmarket

Well done guys! Keep up the good work.

Train2Game News: Icey Monty score a direct hit with archery game for Strongbow

Icey MontyTrain2Game student studio, Icey Monty, designed a game to launch Strongbow Berry at Victoria train station last Friday.

John Esslemont, Nick Walker and Domm Young, joined forces with Frank PR in an initiative to launch Strong Bow’s latest flavour. The Icey Monty crew were part of a team that created a vending machine which had members of the public using Microsoft Kinect to shoot berries on the Icey Monty designed game. Players with enough skill to hit the berry were rewarded with ice cold cans of new Strongbow Berry to enjoy on what was another scorching day in the capital.

You can enjoy a video of Nick being interviewed below

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Domm Young

Domm YoungI got the pleasure of talking to Domm Young who is Icey Montys new developer. You can hear how Domm started coding and how he got involved with Icey Monty.

You can listen to the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1475212-train2game-radio-talks-to-student-domm-young

Or read the transcript below:

Hi I’m Domm Young, I live in Portsmouth and I’m on the Developer course with Train2Game.

Hiya Domm, how you doing mate?

I’m not bad thank you. Yourself?

I’m alright cheers bud. So tell me a bit about yourself then?

I came out of college when I was 19. I’ve always wanted to be a Developer. I worked on a lot of stuff during my college time. I did Visual Basic to start with, it’s not the language I had in mind but it’s the only one they taught there at the time. From then onwards I’ve just been doing jobs that I didn’t really want to do and in my own time I’ve just been working on my own thing, but about a year ago or so I decided to join the Train2Game course because I needed a little bit more structure and discipline in my learning and that’s basically what’s brought me to here, really.

What started off your want for coding and stuff like that?

It was basically all down to the fact that when I was younger and playing games and stuff, I always thought it would be cool to implement my own things and I always had an imaginative way of thinking. So when it come to the PC I started playing a game called Vice City at the time, I’m sure everyone knows that!

Indeed.

There was stuff you could do by changing some of the scripts like replacing some of the models in the game but you could also add predefined scripts that were already done, you could put them in to the game and see how they worked. I thought that was pretty cool. From then onwards it was just basically researching and seeing how that all worked.

So were you doing a lot of Game Mods and stuff like that during your college years?

A little bit. When I started learning Visual Basic I thought, I’m going to be learning Visual Basic through the three years I’m at college I might as well get comfortable with using that. Obviously it got constraints when it comes to making games like the fact you can’t, you know, it misses an API basically. I was playing around with that and making little games on screen. When I left college, I started learning C++ as a full time thing and then obviously I found out that the Train2Game course also teaches C++ so it works out really well.

Now you’re with Train2Game you said you were working on other projects. What are you working on now?

I joined a company called Icey Monty. I found Nick on the Train2Game forum and then through Nick I met John. Within that company we do a lot of client work, primarily, that’s mainly our focus. We put our clients first and then we work on our own thing during the evenings or at weekends. Most of the time it’s just ideas we throw about, we get together in a call, we write a few documents and then we see if we can implement it and then if it actually works out, we’ll go ahead and do it. If it seems like it’s going to be boring or it’s not going to work out we decide not to bother with it any more. We’ve got a few projects we are playing around with it at the moment, one being a sort of racing game where you start off and you’ve got to see how far you can get whilst being obstructed by various types of Zombies, it’s just an idea we are throwing out there but at the moment it’s all in the works.

Yeah. So is it a few time job for you now working with Icey Monty?

It is now, yeah. I worked in retail, prior and then I got the chance to join Icey Monty, doing something I really like doing and no one would turn that down.

That’s gotta be a bit of a relief hasn’t it!

Yeah exactly. I’ve been working in jobs I hate for most of my life, since I left college. I’ve worked in stuff like Warehouses and Call Centers and Retail and all that sort of stuff. As soon as I heard Icey Monty were interviewing, I inquired more about it and managed to get hooked up with an interview, that’s where I met John, and it happened straight away. He asked within a couple of days if I wanted to start and I handed in my notice at work.

Excellent. So what was it you think they liked about you so much then?

It was more the drive. I didn’t care how much it was more the fact I wanted to do what I like doing and that’s all I really cared about. As soon as Nick told me they were looking for someone to be a developer for them, he told me what they were using like Unity and C# and stuff. Straight away I started getting straight on to it, started learning Unity, obviously told him about it and both of them were quite shocked about the drive that I had. So I think that played a big part in the reason why I got the job.

Excellent so with this full time job then you can pay the bills alright then?

Yeah, it’s fine. I am happy as long as I can make ends meet and do what I love doing really.

You sound like you’ve got a real love of all things code.

Yeah, that’s right, yeah. Like I said, it’s the only thing I ever wanted to do and I’m sure it’s the only thing I’ll ever want to do.

Excellent. So what are your ambitions to move on to or go forward to in the future?

Icey Monty is my first ever game industry job, working with programmers full time so I hope to stick with those guys. Working with John and Nick is really laid back, you couldn’t ask for a better set of managers to be honest with you.

Excellent! So I think that’s all we’ve got time for today Domm. So thank you very much for your time.

Not a problem at all. Thanks for having me!

My pleasure.

Train2Game News: Train2Game in The Guardian

Train2Game and Icey Monty have been mentioned in an article in The Guardian news paper.

Under the Learn and Earn heading in the paper they talk about Nick Walker of Train2Game Student Studio Icey Monty. The article discusses how Nick runs his own app creating company at the age of nineteen and lives debt free, allowing him to enjoy a healthy social life, with never going to University.

Click to enlarge the image to read the article.

The Guardian 28 May 2013 T2G