Train2Game News Student Studio lands lucrative contract

LDP OnlineAppatier Limited has begun a project for a training provider; creating a Pizzeria to teach employees about ‘Kaizan’

John Esslemont and his team are designing a game for online training provider LDP-Online as part of a paid contract. The art of Japanese organisation is combining with the modern phenomenon of videogames (and pizza), as Appatier Limited design an app to teach employees about management. John also used the opportunity to say he supports Train2Game and the work it does for students.

The team is currently working on a pizza game that teaches people about ‘Kaizan’ which is Japanese for organisation. The educational game lets people learn about management and perfect running a team. It sounds simple but designing a game where multiple actions have to time together to the second, has been a challenge. It’s the first game of its kind that John is aware of, but he expects lots more in the future.

John has had a good experience with Train2Game and loves the staff; he learnt lots about games development and self-motivation. Says some students don’t get the most out of Train2Game and they are to blame for not applying themselves. That many students have gone on to setup indie studios and work at AAA Developers. Extremely appreciative of the staff at Train2Game and grateful to them for getting him where he is today.

John is using all his own project management skills to get the job done, and working with his team on the project. The job came through his Train2Game network of contacts. His advice to other students looking to get professional contracts is get out there and ‘work your butt off.’

John Esslemont, Director, Appatier Limited: ‘The experience was good with Train2Game and the staff that work for them are amazing! With Train2Game I learnt a lot of aspects of game development through the course and other students along with a load of self-study which is essential to learning in any field.’

‘I see some people feeling disgruntled with Train2Game that they haven’t learnt anything or haven’t progressed and feel the need to blame Train2Game. That is complete rubbish, I know a tonne of students who are now into AAA games, or indie games studios, it all takes self-discipline to get anywhere in this field. Sorry just felt like I needed to get that in there.’

‘Without train2Game and I sincerely mean this, I doubt I would be where I am, the staff there I have got to know over the past couple years have been amazing with me, especially Harry & Eric, those guys are the boyo’s.’

‘Right now we are working on a restaurant style game that is designed to help people learn Kaizan, which is a Japanese term for organisation essentially. The client is LDP-Online. It will but will be available via LDP-Online and the App Stores. We hope this will be the first of many projects.’

‘The point of the game is for you to think like a manager, you must position your staff and give them jobs to complete. The app will be used for training purposes on the Kaizan principle.

‘If your staff do a terrible job that is of course down to you, and you must learn how to adapt to this fast to get your staff in a rhythm, which will in turn generate you more profit and help you complete the game. It is in terms of thought a small game, turns out all the inner workings like timings, staff jobs, etc are a little more complicated than we first thought.’

‘The job came through a contact of Train2Game, part of the training providers network. As a student they were aware of me and then I got put forward for the job, and was lucky enough to get it. I haven’t seen very many of games like this, mostly because I haven’t searched for them, but I 100% believe that this sort of thing will grow exponentially in the training markets.’

‘The biggest thing I feel that is helping me personally is my ability to manage a team and understand the whole process while being involved in every aspect of the game’s design and development. I am a programmer, but also project manager along with the director so I have to organise everything and make sure everyone is working to deadlines and plans, if they are not that needs to be changed or adapted to the current situation.’

‘I’ve not worked on anything like this at all, in fact it was our first 2D game so we had to learn a lot of the basics and setups to get this right. Once you feel comfortable making games you tend to throw yourself into it really. It has gone really good up to now, some hiccups but nothing serious which is always good.’

‘The timings and how everything is structured has been difficult, the game is designed in such a way that the timings need to be near perfect for it to work. For example is a guy is walking from point A to point B but he needs to take 7 seconds to arrive there, we then need to dynamically change his speed so that it only takes him 7 seconds to get there. Simple math but lots of things like this piling up and all intertwining can become a bit of a brain dead moment.’

‘My advice for other students looking for their first paying client: Put yourself out there; go to the Unity forums, Unreal forums, UpWork and more. Honestly apply for everything within your skill set or what you think you can do. Do not ever be put off by someone asking for something you don’t know what to do right now as that is part of learning. So if you see a job you like the look off and have say a basic understanding of what needs to be done and how you would roughly do it, then go for it!’

‘Once you have your client, work your butt off for them, but also remember to not let them think they own you, define what your work will involve and work to what you both agreed. If they want changes, that is fine, if they want more features or something similar charge them for your time!’

‘I learnt that the hard way!’

For more information contact: mark@train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Games leasing platform launches today

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Games leasing platform www.gamatier.com launches today

John Esslemont and his team are ready to change the games distribution landscape. Publishing and Development distribution platform Gamatier launches today.

Gamatier is a brand new product that lets online and mobile games Publishers and Developers lease games, alongside options to buy. Listing hundreds of different titles, Gamatier will offer bespoke usage options to suit both parties, with Publishers able to decide how they want to access to a game and Developers able to retain ownership. The platform has been created by Developers who studied with Train2Game and have credited the course provider as essential in their game development journey.

Publishers and Developers can now lease and manage games for use on Android through the platform, with iOS, Windows and online, arriving soon. The platform and embedded SDK are completely changing the traditional model of selling games, empowering both Publishers and Developers with real time management, advertising, analytics and distribution tools.

The website and SDK have been created by a UK Development team who studied with Games Development course provider Train2Game. Their aim is to create a more effective way of distributing and managing online games. The applications of Gamatier are huge for the games industry. The platform has now launched, the team are planning rapid expansion and currently seeking investment to take the platform to the next level.

John Esslemont, Founder, Gamatier, ‘Gamatier is a real time App management service unlike anything out on the market. With our services we allow game publishers to buy games directly from our ecommerce store, but unlike others that just sell games or source codes, we will also offer the ability for buyers to be able to control aspects of their game in real time via our custom built dashboard.’
‘Along with Sales and source code we also opened up Leasing which allows people to lease games for a period of 3 months +. There are 2 types of leasing, Standard and Premium.’

‘Standard leasing is only for the WebGL platform which is now being used hugely and still growing rapidly in the web arcade business. WebGL will soon be able to be played directly in internet browsers and directly on phones without the need to download.’

‘Premium Leasing is for all platforms, Android, iOS, WebGL, & Windows Phone. When a buyer leases a premium game they are the sole user of that game for the period they purchased, They will take control off that game even if it has been downloaded or played 500K times before, they gain the game, the users, the publicity of the game, they become the owners of that game so to speak on their chosen platform. So not only can they leases a premium game they can also lease it with either 0 downloads or 500K downloads depending on the game!’

‘Buyers can control, when and where ads show, change their branding, enable analytics. They can also advertise other games they own within the games they buy from us to cross promote them for free. There is also GT Ads which is an internal ad network that we have built, that will advertise games that have purchased from us in other users games across our network which will help each other gain more downloads and in turn more revenue.’

‘With all of our current services we allow the main aspects of games to be changed anytime, this is very use full for publishers, as without the need to code and take the long process of updating games and re-uploading their games, they can change values in our dashboard for their game and see the changes happen straight away.’ 

‘For Developers this is also a very lucrative market for them as now not only can they sell games or soon source code, they can also lease their games to make residual income month over month.

www.gamatier.com
www.train2game.com

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com and www.gamatier.com

Train2Game News Student launches Gamatier

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Leasing online and mobile games with real time management tools is the future of games distribution

Gamatier is a brand new product that lets online and mobile games Publishers and Developers lease games, alongside options to buy. Listing hundreds of different titles, Gamatier will offer bespoke usage options to suit both parties, with Publishers able to decide how they want to access to a game and Developers able to retain ownership.

Publishers and Developers can now lease and manage games for use on Android through the platform, with iOS, Windows and online, arriving soon. The platform and embedded SDK are completely changing the traditional model of selling games, empowering both Publishers and Developers with real time management, advertising, analytics and distribution tools.

The website and SDK have been created by a UK Development team who studied with Games Development course provider Train2Game. Their aim is to create a more effective way of distributing and managing online games. The applications of Gamatier are huge for the games industry. The platform has now launched, the team are planning rapid expansion and currently seeking investment to take the platform to the next level.

John Esslemont, Founder, Gamatier “I have been selling games for a long time and that’s how I came up with Gamatier. I was getting frustrated because once I’d developed a game and given it to a Publisher, it was gone and no longer owned my creation. There was no platform for management; it was bad news for a Developer, often not getting a share of a product’s success.”

“That’s when I created Gamatier; I wanted to give Developers the power to keep making money from their games after they were released. I came up with the concept of leasing games through an online platform. Why sell your game when leasing will let you retain ownership of the IP and you can continue to control your product?”

“Using Gamatier there are huge benefits for Publishers too, they have a store filled with games that they can choose from and many options of how they want to buy or lease games. Leasing allows for reduced initial outlay and management of further investment in a game. The options available to Publishers allow the most effective way to gain revenue based on analytics and implement changes using the platform in real time, such as: exclusive leasing, advertising and other monetisation options.”

“The unique SDK we’ve developed provides extensive, innovative and intuitive options and services, which integrate into our hosting platform. Developers retain ownership of their title and how it is used. Publishers who buy or lease games achieve control over the games ads, analytics, branding, in house ads and lots more via our real-time dashboard.”

“One thing that has been essential to getting Gamatier off the ground is Train2Game; we would not be making our dreams come true if not for its guidance. We think the Gamatier method of leasing games is more efficient, manageable and cost effective. We predict our product will dramatically change how Publishers and Developers buy and sell games.”

www.gamatier.com
www.train2game.com
Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.plasisgamesportal.com and www.gamatier.com

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: 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 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: Icey Monty require staff

Icey MontyTrain2Game Student studio, Icey Monty have been so successful over the past few months that they need a new member of staff!

If you are unaware of who they are, Icey Monty Ltd. is an app and games development start-up targeting PC and Mobile markets, headed-up by Train2Game students John Esslemont and Nick Walker. The young developers didn’t anticipate the acceleration of business and in the next few months are looking to hire an additional developer on a full time basis.

Due to the nature of freelance work, the length of the employment cannot be guaranteed. Similarly, Icey Monty cannot give any exact figures about wages, work hours or job demand. Given the studios current rate of work, you can expect a junior designer’s salary, this is likely to fluctuate however.

The chosen candidate will likely be hired on a per job basis, as this is how the team currently pay themselves, with a schedule based work flow on a semi-consistent hourly rate. Icey Monty is looking exclusively for a Unity3D developer, who is able to work from home.

The ideal candidate would have the following:

  • Ability to code to a moderate standard in any object-orientated language, although proficiency in C# is preferable.
  • A good understanding of Unity’s IDE, including its non-scripting features.
  • Coding skills in the context of Unity’s engine; Abstraction, Inheritance, Serialization, 3D math, generics, reflection, modularity, logic, events & delegates, procedural, state machines, commenting. Most importantly, the desire to be consistently improving and the ability to teach oneself.
  • General skills, including; time management, mathematics, cooperation, commercial business software, communication, composure, literacy, dedication, stress management, commitment, confidence, respect, ambition and drive.
  • Skype and mobile availability.
  • A passion for games development, design, and quality.

The Icey Monty team are hoping that you can expect an average of forty hours per week. Usually 9-5 Monday to Friday, although there will be fluctuations and quiet days on almost every project. Bonuses may be available for these periods, depending on the client.

Those forty hours will be used doing the following:

  • Creating entire games and apps to client’s specifications in a given time frame.
  • Working with SVN software on team based projects.
  • Scripting key components on top of existing frameworks.
  • Suggesting and incorporating new game and level design to clients in parallel with their ideas and direction.
  • Working with the Icey Monty team; handling clients, organising prices, features and meetings.

The team will ease you into all of the above, especially regarding finances and client interaction. Icey Monty is relatively new to operating as a studio and learning through experiences what works best.

If you think you would like to work with Icey Monty, you can send your CV and application to them at nick@iceymonty.com. Icey Monty also require you to CC them to nickwalker12@googlemail.com

Train2Game News: Icey Monty visits Yippee! Entertainment

Icey Monty and Yippee! EntertainmentThis week the guys at Icey Monty had the privilege of heading over to Yippee! Entertainment as part of a Train2Game scheme to connect students with established games makers.

Yippee! Entertainment are the creators of Chimpact, the monkey-swinging title which hit number one on the Windows Store. Veterans of the UK’s gaming industry, members of the Yippee! team have worked on games such as: FIFA, Mario Artist Paint Studio, The Simpsons and The Rugrats.

The Train2Game student studio, made up of Lee Sainsbury, Nick Walker and John Esslemont, were taken on the visit to get an insight into the Yippee! team’s experiences as a start-up studio, take a look behind the scenes at Chimpact, see the team’s latest project in development and be given advice on video game design and development.

The visit

Icey Monty sat down with Steve Ruddy, Technical Director at Yippee! Entertainment, to discuss the tech they use for their titles. The Icey Monty boys were blown away by some of the things they were shown, and it really gave them an insight into how professional studios develop tech to manage time scales and repetitive tasks, and how to use tech to really polish a game.

They then met with Kevin Green, Lead Artist at Yippee! Entertainment. Icey Monty then discussed the importance of documentation, how to decide on the best design to proceed with and how to go about creating an interesting and innovative GUI. They learnt a lot about how to make the correct design decisions and talked about making an overall enjoyable title.

Icey Monty, were asked to show a short demonstration of Tamarex, their first title for mobile which is yet to be released. It was well received by the Yippee! Team and they got some great feedback on how to improve the game.

It was a pleasure for Icey Monty to meet the Yippee! team and get to see how a professional studio operates, to see what top mobile developers are currently working on. The students are incredibly grateful and wanted to thank Yippee! for giving up their time.

Special thanks to Lorraine Starr, Commercial Director at Yippee! Entertainment, for additionally giving the team a tour of media city and making sure they were well looked after.